I was given the name of Steven when I was born. It’s a Greek name even though I don’t have a drop of Greek blood in me. It means “crown” or “victorious” which are two words that never really applied to my life much. Well, like most humans I’m occasionally victorious, of course, but I was never royal. Names are our birthright but they really don’t mean anything but I find it fun whenever I find another Steven or Steve. So I thought I’d explore different characters or real people who share my name. For now, this does not include Stephen because I don’t belong to that rival tribe.
Steve the Monkey from the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies
I remember reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as a kid and the book was definitely surreal and fun but it was more of a poem than a story. I have to hand it to the makers of the movies who completely spun straw into gold. They took a very simple story and made it into a great animated movie. Not only that but they filled it with puns (the lowest form of comedy) and it ended up being hilarious and not annoying. Truly there was some dark magic involved there.
The character of Steve is a Vervet monkey and lab assistant who talks through an altered speak and spell (performed by Neil Patrick Harris). I specifically chose to talk about him because a friend of mine often does an impression of him when somebody says my name. Now, Steve mostly wears his heart on his sleeve, literally saying his emotions, his desires, what he’s doing at the moment or his own name. That’s not me. I tend to keep a lot of things to myself and I’m less impulsive unless I let my rage problem get the best of me. In some ways I try to be a little more like Steve the Monkey by joking a little more and hanging out with people more.
Steve Urkel from Family Matters
I haven’t met somebody from my generation who hasn’t heard of Family Matters yet. We pretty much all watched it along with the other shows on ABC’s TGIF line up. It was a wholesome show that had a semi-realistic depiction of a family. The Winslows loved each other and looked out for each other but they weren’t afraid to show the parents yelling at their kids for doing the wrong thing. They also weren’t afraid to show the members of the family making fun of each other which is something my family does as well. Sure it was a sitcom so everything was often exaggerated and more extreme than anything I experienced. Still, it was pretty relateable and it gave us a handful of jokes when we watch Die Hard each year.
Now, before anyone called me Harry Potter (ok it happened once), I hated sharing a name with Steve Urkel. Urkel was a character that exploded pretty soon after his first appearance and is probably the primary reason that Jaleel White primarily did voice acting for a while. Urkel was a technophile with poor coordination and low social skills. He didn’t care about being cool, being a nerd was cool to him and he loved being himself. However, when people compared my name to his it was an insult. Urkel was an outcast on the show who none of the Winslows wanted around because, frankly, he was annoying. However, eventually his good qualities won over his annoying ones and he wormed his way into the hearts of everyone. Urkel probably was the first time that I started to embrace my nerdy side and not care so much what people think.
Steven Stone from the Pokemon games
I love Pokemon. I first experienced Pokemon as a video game as most people did but it wasn’t long before I was exposed to the anime. I got to see the adventures of Ash Ketchum and then my brothers and I could strive to become Pokemon masters ourselves. My brothers had Red and Blue and I got Yellow as soon as it came out which was more like the anime. I loved battling Team Rocket and putting together effective and dominating teams. I favored fire and electric types most. I eventually graduated to Pokemon Gold and I check in on the anime to this day but I never did play any games. If I had, I would have found about Steven Stone before this past weekend.
In current Pokemon game continuity, Steven Stone was the champion of the Hoenn region and thus the main boss of the Ruby/Sapphire games. He is a trainer who specializes in Steel-type pokemon, a type I hadn’t really mastered until lately. Now that I see them in action, Steel-type pokemon are hard hitting and formidable in battle and some of them look awesome. Steven Stone is a champion and is very intelligent in the anime (which isn’t saying much when compared to Ash Ketchum). Where he really shines is the Mega Evolution special (see above video). There’s not really enough character to compare myself to but at least there’s a Steven like me in the Pokemon world.