07/17/2012 01:06 pm ET

Louis C.K. Real Name: Stars And Their Stage Names (PHOTOS)

Known as Louis C.K., "Louie" and sometimes simply "that ginger comedian," the comedy world's newest star offers us a bevy of choices with his many monikers.

But what is the "Louie" creator's actual name? Louis Szekely.

It's easy to see why the comedian turned his consonant-heavy surname into its phonetic equivalent. Although Szekely is pronounced “SAY-kay," Louis resorted to "C.K." in grade school.

But the funnyman isn't the only one to ditch his given name for something a little easier on the ears. Stars like Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight), Meg Ryan (Margaret Hyra) and Michael Caine (Maurice Joseph Micklewhite) have all tossed their given names for a headline-friendly pseudonym.

Check out these celebrities with stage names below: