I recently read David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System, which features several characters with the unusual surname “Stonecipher.” In fact, it was so unusual I’d assumed Wallace had made it up…only to find that, among other apparently real people, a former CEO of Boeing bore the surname.
But the reason that had come back to me was that we’re re-watching The X-Files, and in the Season 5 episode “Detour” (the one with the “Mothmen”), one of the two agents enthusiastically looking forward to their corporate teamwork retreat is addressed, near the very end of the episode, as “Agent Stonecypher” (the spelling is according to IMDB). I suspect this name was used as a tribute to Wallace’s book.
And then digging into the names of X-Files characters and actors reminded me that I’d noticed an amusing tidbit in the credits to a couple of episodes…which is that The X-Files is the second show to feature people called “Gilligan” and “Skipper” in the same series. “Gilligan” is of course Vince Gilligan, a key writer and producer on the series…and “Skipper” is Pat Skipper, the actor who played Scully’s rat-faced dick of a brother, Bill, in a few episodes.