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Tammy, the Name in Entertainment

Updated on June 28, 2011

During the 1980s, daytime television was ruled by the game shows. One such game show was very popular with people of all ages. This game show ran from 1983 to 1986 on the CBS network. This game show's most remembered character was an animated little fellow called a "Whammy". There were approximately 80 different animations for this little guy when a contestant would land on a Whammy square. The Whammy would take the contestant's cash and prizes leaving the contestant back at zero. Due to the Whammy's increasing popularity among viewers, especially children, Whammy was given a wife. Whammy's wife was named Tammy Whamette. Perhaps Tammy's name was a derivative of country singer Tammy Wynette's stage name. Obviously, Tammy is a girl's name that rhymes with Whammy.

Tammy the Whammy Jokes Arise

Any girl with the first name of Tammy experienced jokes about her name due to the invention of Tammy Whamette, especially if this girl had siblings. Many of these jokes involved comments concerning the cash and prizes the Whammy and Tammy Whamette characters took from the contestants. Whenever Tammy would appear with Whammy to take these prizes, the viewer named Tammy would hear her siblings ask for "their cut". Classmates of the girl named Tammy would also fire jokes about Tammy Whamette. Whammy's creator probably didn't realize the impact his little critters would have on pop culture.

Debbie as Tammy VS Debbie and Tammy

Ironically, my oldest sister's name is Debbie. She and I were watching "Tammy and the Bachelor" on television one afternoon when I was just a small child. I did not understand that television characters names were not the real names of the actors portraying them. I honestly thought Debbie Reynolds' real name was Tammy since that was the character she played in this film. My sister, Debbie, told me the actress' name was Debbie. I became belligerent. I kept insisting the girl's name was indeed Tammy. Not wanting to argue with me, my sister told me "okay this time her name will be Tammy but next time her name will be Debbie". I was satisfied with that response and I dropped to subject.

"Tammy" in the Movies

Before "Press Your Luck", there was a series of romantic comedies known as "the Tammy movies". The popularity of these movies prompted many parents to name their little girls "Tammy". Even Tammy Wynette's stage name was taken from these movies (Wynette is her real first name). The popularity of these movies also brought on siblings jokingly singing "Tammy" to the girl named Tammy. Debbie Reynolds sang it as Tammy in "Tammy and the Bachelor". If I remember correctly, Sandra Dee also sang it in the two movies in which she played the Tammy character.

The popularity of these movies inspired a less popular television series. The television series and subsequent film starred a relatively unknown actress named Debbie Watson.

Poll for Tammys only

Were you given your name due to the "Tammy" movies?

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Debbie Reynolds singing "Tammy" in "Tammy and the Bachelor"

Do you personally know anyone outside of HubPages named Tammy?

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Tammy or Tammi

There are many variant spellings for the name Tammy nowadays. The name can be spelled "Tami", "Tammie", "Tammi", "Tamy", "Tamme", etc. Sometimes Tammy is a nickname for girls named Tamera. "Tamme" (pronounced "Tammy") is also the surname of a professional football player. If you are named Tammy, be proud of your name. It has a distinguished history in entertainment.

© 2011 Tammy L


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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Thanks for the expression of sympathy, but my niece died so many years ago that I'd nearly forgotten she was a Tammy. On a brighter note, I never knew "Wynette" was the singer's real first name, but think it somehow works better as a surname. ;D

    • Tammy L profile image

      Tammy L 6 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

      Jama: First, I'd like to offer my condolences on the loss of your niece. Not many people remember the Tammy Whamette character. She was not as prevalent as the main Whammy character. I only remember her because of the name they chose for her.


    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I must've been living on another planet while that game show was on, because I'd never heard of Tammy Whamette until now. Can't help but giggle while saying it tho! ;D

      My niece Tamara (R.I.P.) was called Tammy. Don't think I ever knew why her parents picked that name.