Three Simple Tips to Writing Your Own Aaron Sorkin Character Name

Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter, producer and playwright, points as he looks to the crowd during an address
Photo: Nate Shron/Getty Images

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you already know that the names of Aaron Sorkin’s TV characters all kind of sound the same. Between their preppy Caucasian-ness and their jaunty optimism, there is a sameness that is both predictable and comforting. And so, here is a quick primer to coming up with your own Sorkin monikers. Choose one of these three options and you’ll never be wrong. Just like a Sorkin character!

1. Alliterate
Aaron often alights on like-lettered labels: Sam Seaborn, Simon Stiles, Harriet Hayes, C.J. Cregg, Sloan Sabbith, Leona Lansing, Bobbi Bernstein, Kelly Kirkpatrick, Sally Sasser, Cliff Calley.

2. Add a “Mc” or a “Mac”
McSpeechy loves the Scots-Irish thing: Leo McGarry, Nancy McNally, Casey McCall, Jordan McDeere, Andy Mackinaw, MacKenzie McHale, Will McAvoy.

3. The Three-Syllable Sweet Spot
Sorkin loves musicals so much that he is comfortable comparing his own monologues to them. There is a rhythmic nature to Sorkin speak and to Sorkin nomenclature. Two syllables would be too flat, too terse. So three is best: Matt Albie, Will Bailey, Tom Jeter, Cal Shanley, Jim Harper. Put a cherry on the name if it’s pronounced in an anapaestic metre (two short syllables, one long): Charlie Young, Donna Moss, Danny Tripp.

You are done.

Three Steps to Your Own Sorkin Character Name