America's JIM

I'm in America, so I only use my real name in the paperwork. JMD I never planned all the confusion surrounding my names. I was always Jamie to family members and James Michael Doughty to everyone else until I started working in TV News in 1998.

In Amarillo, I hyphenated my name James Muñoz-Doughty. Muñoz is my mother's maiden name. People thought I had gotten married or that I was from the Middle East.

In Corpus Christi it was back to just James Doughty. I was constantly asked if I was related to the Doughty's who pioneered South Texas. (Yes, I am.) And often I was asked if I was adopted, because Doughty is not a Spanish surname. I'd joke and say it's actually De La Doughty. More often than not people failed to pronounce Doughty correctly. Most relatives pronounce it with the long O sound like dough-tee.

In San Angelo I decided to use James Muñoz. Sometimes it's a challenge to get others to add the tilde on the n, but it's rather simple alt 164 for ñ and alt 165 for Ñ. I learned a long time ago that a person's name is their most precious asset. After explaining to someone my grandfather rolls in his grave when the tilde is missing, it's usually there the next time.

The only other option I had was James Franco. That's my maternal grandmother's maiden name. When I asked a General Manager friend of mine what she thought, she made the money gesture and said, "Hey how much does Franco pay?" I guess my paternal grandmother's maiden name Towery is another option. I wish I could be like O and just go by J for Jamie or James.

After a few years on stage as a comic I started using America's JIM. JIM of course is short for James, but it also stands for Jewish, Irish, Mexican, my complete background. And at least to my mom I am quite the gem. She once captioned my photo with, "Diamonds are forever". Pretty much!

And to shake things up more I was recently inspired to pronounce Doughty with the short o sound. The ah is for God. I had a dream I was introducing myself to someone and I said, I'm James Dawe-tee, the ah is for God. Only in America!

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