Which Doug Jones is which? From the Alabama Senate race to Star Trek.

Which Doug Jones Is Which? A Handy Guide.

Which Doug Jones Is Which? A Handy Guide.

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Slate's Culture Blog
Dec. 4 2017 7:33 AM

Which Doug Jones Is Which? A Handy Guide.

Doug Jones the actor, Doug Jones the athlete, Doug Jones the politician.
Pictured: Doug Jones, Doug Jones, and Doug Jones.

© 2006 Picturehouse, Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport, Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Doug Jones is currently running for office in a high-profile race that has made him the talk of the national political arena. But Doug Jones is also making a splash in the entertainment world, starring in the latest TV installment of a major sci-fi franchise and promoting his new film, in which he plays an amphibious creature. And if that wasn’t enough, years ago, Doug Jones had a respectable career in the major leagues. Where does the guy find the time?!

Obviously, these are all different Doug Joneses, but you could be forgiven for not being able to keep up. According to census data, there are 329 people named Doug Jones in the United States. Here are a few we think you should know about.

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The Alabama Senate candidate

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Doug Jones.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Born Gordon Douglas Jones but better known by his nickname, this Doug Jones is a 63-year-old attorney and the Democratic candidate in the special election for Alabama’s vacant Senate seat. In 2002, he was the lead prosecutor in the case that put two Ku Klux Klan members in jail for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four black children. Jones’ chances of winning the election in what would otherwise be a reliably red state have improved dramatically since his opponent, Republican Roy Moore, has been accused by multiple women of targeting and molesting teenage girls. (But he probably shouldn’t get too comfortable.)

This Doug Jones has the distinction of being the only one on our list who has been attacked by the president of the United States on Twitter—at least, to our knowledge, anyway.

The actor

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Doug Jones.

CBS

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You’ve probably seen more than one movie featuring actor Doug Jones, yet you still might not recognize him if you passed him on the street. Jones, previously a contortionist, currently plays Lt. Commander Saru on Star Trek: Discovery, where he’s buried, as he so often is, under layers of makeup and prosthetics. The actor is also a favorite of director Guillermo del Toro and has appeared in the Hellboy movies, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Strain, and the new The Shape of Water.

The athlete(s)

DOUG-JONES-INDIANS
Doug Jones.

Stephen Dunn/Allsport

They’re all retired now, but there have been plenty of Doug Joneses in the world of sports. There’s the baseball player Doug Jones, a relief pitcher who played for a number of MLB teams including the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland Athletics. The NFL’s Doug Jones played for six seasons in the 1970s. And there’s the former boxer Doug Jones, who was active in the 1950s and 1960s and went up against the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

The hypothetical

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“Doug Jones.”

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

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It was Jim Hightower, the former commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, who came up with the “Doug Jones Average,” an economic litmus test for the country. Rather than rely on the Dow Jones Average, Hightower suggested judging America’s economic health by looking at how the imaginary American everyman, Doug Jones, is faring at a given moment: “We need a real-life measure of ‘How ya doin?’ for the 80 percent of Americans who don’t own stocks and bonds, who’re just trying to get their wages and monthly bills to shake hands and be friends again.” If this Doug Jones can pay his bills and afford Spam for lunch, the country is in good shape.

The fictional character

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Dougie Jones.

Showtime

OK, so technically this one isn’t a Doug Jones, but he’s off by just two letters, so we’ll let it slide. In Twin Peaks: The Return, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is trapped in the body of Dougie Jones, an insurance agent whose pastimes include gambling and prostitutes. But Dougie turns out to be more than he first appears; he’s actually a tulpa, a mystical being created through the power of thought, willed into being so that Cooper’s evil doppelgänger won’t have to return to the Black Lodge.

Yeah, it’s a pretty weird show.

Marissa Martinelli is a Slate editorial assistant.