Writing about TV is fun ... until you have to use one of these impossible-to-spell TV star names.
Does Steve Carell have one "r" and two "l"s or vice versa? Does a last name really need six syllables (ahem, Zach Galifianakis)? And what's the rule on Hollywood's many Vans -- Van Der Beek, VanCamp, Vanderpump? When do you capitalize, and when do you add a space? It's all very confusing.
In honor of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee (preliminaries air Wed., May 30, 8 a.m. ET on ESPN3, with semifinals on Thurs., May 31, 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2 and finals at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN), we've rounded up some of our favorite TV stars who have some of our least favorite names to spell -- 35 names that deserve their own pneumonic devices to make our lives easier.
We'd like to see those spelling champs try to spell the name of "Lost" and "Oz" alum Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.
Shockingly, it's not the last name that gets us with this "New Girl" star -- maybe years of writing about her "Bones" star sister Emily have helped -- but the double-"o" in Zooey just loses us sometimes.
This "Good Wife" star's last name is pronounced "zoo-kree." Can we just spell it that way, too?
"GCB" might be canceled, but our mantra of "Kristin with an 'i,' Chenoweth with an 'e'" will never go away.
We loved "Bored to Death" and are hoping for more "Between Two Ferns" TV specials ... just to get that name right.
"The Big C" star has a seriously confusing name spelling.
He's coming to TV! So guess we better start remembering that it's only one "n."
This "Nip/Tuck" lady's name is as exotic as her looks.
Not to be confused with movie man Peter Sarsgaard, this "True Blood" hottie is worth the extra effort.
Doesn't Wiig always look like it's missing a consonant? It's not, but Kristen got plenty of them with her former "SNL" gig.
"The Voice" coach leaves us speechless fairly often ... but her name stumps us every time.
On a difficulty scale of 1-10, Bruno's last name ranks on the tougher side. Just like his "Dancing With the Stars" judging.
This "30 Rock" guest star spells it exactly like it sounds ... even if we doubt ourselves every time.
James Van Der Beek
"Don't Trust the B---- In Apt. 23" lets Van Der Beek spoof himself -- now we're ready for him to target his fellow Hollywood "Van" clan. Like ...
This "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" beauty isn't one for excess capitalization or spaces -- it's all one word, all fabulous.
This "Smallville" and "V" alum is stunning, as is her last name. (Try saying that three times fast!)
We don't want to know what this "Revenge" star would do if we forgot her capital "C" or left her "Van" hanging.
"Portlandia" has the proud honor of having MacLachlan guest star ... and making sure they remember all those "a"s.
We love watching people butcher Mariska's name when she collects all her awards for "Law & Order: SVU." We're guessing it doesn't thrill her, though.
Are all Ukranian names this tricky? Also, did Maks have to bring his brother to "Dancing With the Stars" too? Now it's Chmerkovskiy x2.
Both of these names somehow stump us, and judging by a lot of comments from "Good Wife" fans, we know we're not alone.
"Office" alum Carell and movie star Will Ferrell always make our brains hurt -- we may never get it right without Googling.
We'd be fine going back to the days when the "Bachelors" and "Bachelorettes" were all just one-name wonders. Please?
There's an umlaut over the "a" in Madchen -- we think -- and umlaut's get us every time.
This "Lost" alum's name still leaves us scratching our heads, much like the show itself.
Cox has worked hard enough to deserve that extra "e" in Courteney (but it still bugs us).
One of "How I Met Your Mother's" biggest twists? That Jason Segel's name is always the hardest to spell! (Cobie Smulders thanks you, Jason.)
We adore this "Lost" alum, but we're already trying to train ourselves to spell her name correctly before she returns to ABC with "Mistresses."
This man's "Homeland" is England, and that's probably why we always assume his first name is more complicated than it is. Damien or Damian? It always takes a second look.
It's Britney, b-tch! Now that this diva's on "X Factor," we're banning all urges to "Brittany" her.
This "Bones" star's last name really is spelled just like it sounds ... sometimes the easiest ones are the hardest.
"Revenge" is a dish best served cold, and spelling this star's name gives us a chill of uncertainty every time.
This summer's "Political Animals" has us boning up on White House policy and this star's tricky first name.
This "Heroes" alum's last name is a mouthful ... and, if we're being honest, we're still not totally confident in our pronunciation of it either.
This lovely lady was pulling double-duty on "House of Lies" and "90210," which meant double the IMDb spell-checking.
This "CSI" alum's name still stumps us -- anyone else feel an overwhelming need to drop the "er" when saying or spelling her last name?