Andy Tatami is not a new comic legend
MANY readers were likely surprised to learn in "Honolulu Lite" last week
of "legendary local comedian and actor Andy Tatami."
Alas, there is no such person. Andy Tatami was a figment of a computer spell-checker's imagination which burst into print when an editor accidentally hit the wrong keyboard key.
The legendary comic I was referring to in my column actually was Andy Bumatai, who is headlining a "Laughs for Lions" fundraiser for the Lions Club.
Anyone who uses a computer knows that when you spell-check a document, the computer gives you a selection of alternative words when it comes upon a word it thinks is misspelled. The Star-Bulletin computer apparently does not like the word "Bumatai" and offers the following suggestions to change it: Tatami and Makai. From there, pilot error kicks in if you do not hit "skip" instead of "replace," which is how the not-so-legendary Andy Tatami took the stage. (Andy Makai was waiting in the wings.)
ANDY Bumatai, being a comedian, took the mistake with a chuckle when I called him near midnight in a panic to explain what had happened. He later e-mailed me a note saying, "Don't worry, I fixed the problem." Attached was a fake updated flier for the Lions Club event in which he had changed his name to Andy Tatami. One reason I felt so bad was that the entire point of the column was to get people to go to a worthwhile event and because Andy and I had are friends, having written a couple of screenplays together. No good deed goes unpunished.
I hold no animosity against the person who accidentally created Mr. Tatami because none of us in the newspaper business are without sin when it comes to spelling and spell-check errors, especially me. In fact, it is the nature of my column, being a regular repository of weird and silly things, that led to this incident. A second editor who came across "Andy Tatami" thought I did it on purpose, trying to be funny. And Andy Tatami is kind of a funny name for a comedian. ("Andy Tatami -- He'll Floor Ya!" "Andy Tatami -- He's Nobody's Floor Mat!")
For the record, Bumatai will put on the comedy show featuring other local future legendary comedians at the Mamiya Theater Saturday. For tickets, call 528-1073.
Legendary Honolulu Mayor Muffin Hangman will not be there. "Muffin Hangman" is what the computer spell-check suggests when it trips over "Mufi Hannemann." The mayor has no idea how lucky he is every time his name appears in my column correctly.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org