Can a Wormald Ever Really be Famous?

October 21, 2011

By Karen

Hollywood’s greatest dancers: Astaire… Kelly… WORMALD???!!!

A remake of the 1984 film, Footloose, opened last week, with 27-year-old Kenny Wormald in the Kevin Bacon role. Last week he appeared on Dancing with the Stars with his co-star, Julianne Hough. It felt shocking when host Tom Bergeron said “Wormald” several times without once fumbling over the “Worm.”

Kenny and I both grew up in Massachusetts, so I bet you’re wondering if we’re related.

Once upon a time… a few Wormalds trickled over from England, where the name fills whole columns in phone books and doesn’t make anyone stutter over it.

I thought the Massachusetts Wormalds were all my family until I discovered a parallel universe of them in the newspaper when a Marilyn Wormald kicked a police officer. My father says he used to be asked about a Henry Wormald, who apparently had some trouble with the law.

I have no idea if Kenny springs from that branch, or there’s a third one, I’m just saying… I don’t think we’re related.

For a few years, a Ken Wormald appeared in the Richmond phone book. I Googled Kenny to see if maybe he went to college here, but it doesn’t appear so.

I have to applaud Kenny’s guts. Remaining a Wormald must please his parents, and definitely makes him unique in the entertainment industry. But that “worm” thing makes people squirm. How far can he go with it?

Think about it. Studio heads didn’t pick “Greta Garbage” when they renamed Greta Lovisa Gustafsson. And “Marilyn Monrot” was probably never an option for Norma Jean Baker.

I’ve even considered a literary nom de plume myself, because people have such an aversion to saying “WORMald.” (For the record, we pronounce it just like “Donald.”)

I may see Footloose this weekend, even though Kenny’s not my cousin. It’s my chance to see most of my name on the big screen.

Go for it, Kenny! I hope you take Wormald all the way to the top!


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