Mahershala Ali has a name that is both memorable and a mouthful, but on Wednesday night’s edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the “Green Book” star had a shocking revelation: Mahershala is not his actual first name, but a shortened version of an even longer name.
“That’s my nickname,” Ali told Kimmel, revealing his actual first name “is 18 letters long.”
That name: Mahershalalhashbaz, which the actor pointed out is the “longest word in the Bible.”
As he explained, the name’s origin is biblical. “It’s in the book of Isaiah,” Ali said. “The prophet Isaiah’s second son, it’s his symbolic name, so he didn’t actually have to live through life with that name.”
Back in the Bay Area, he added, he’s called “Hershal,” but made clear “that’s reserved for the folks in the hometown… But family and friends who knew me as a kid, they call me Hershal.
Later in the interview, the 44-year-old actor showed off the Golden Globe he won on Sunday. As Kimmel pointed out, Ali is also an Oscar winner and with his role in the upcoming third season of “True Detective”, quipped Kimmel, “there’s a real good shot you’ll get at least nominated for an Emmy,” leading the host to launch a campaign to make Ali an EGOT winner (a.k.a., those rare talents who’ve won an Emmy, a Grammy, and Oscar and a Tony). Watch: