TV’s identical cousins: They laugh alike, they walk alike

cousins day cardJuly 24 is Cousins Day.

Lots of people have cousins, but let’s talk for a moment about something rarer—the identical cousin. Are identical cousins possible? How about if two sets of twins married each other? Couldn’t their children be identical?  The question was posed on Yahoo. Some guy named Brian gave this answer, and he sounds authoritative, so he must know:

It’s virtually impossible. But technically not impossible.

It’s so improbable I can guarantee it’s never happened and never will. The statistical chances with these two gene variations matching up EXACTLY would be one in quadrillions, if not more. Astronomically low chances.

So to answer your question:

Yes. Identical cousins could exist.

But it won’t ever happen. You have higher chances winning the lottery 100 times in a row.

But in the TV world, we know the chances are very good for cousins to be identical!

Patty Duke as Cathy and Patty Lane on The Patty Duke Show

Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens and Serena on Bewitched

Everyone knows there must be one wild cousin and one cousin who is more proper. On Bewitched, Samantha behaves more conservatively, while Serena is a free spirit. On The Patty Duke Show, Patty is the wild one (she “likes to rock ’n roll, a hot dog makes her lose control”), and cousin Cathy is more level-headed. So you see, even though they are identical, there must be polarity.

Patty Duke as Cousin Betsy
Three’s a crowd: Cousin Betsy is identical to Patty and Cathy except for the bad wig and fake Southern accent.

On Patty Duke, a third identical cousin, Betsy, arrives to stay with the Lanes for one episode (“The Perfect Hostess”), and it totally screws with that polarity. Played by Patty Duke with a blonde wig and a Southern accent, Cousin Betsy tries to get between Patty and Cathy because she is jealous of their friendship. Rest assured, she learns her lesson before she goes away, never to trouble us again.

A lot of people mistakenly assume Barbara Eden’s dual characters on I Dream of Jeannie are cousins, but Eden’s brunette character (also named Jeannie) is blonde Jeannie’s sister, not her cousin.

And how could I write a post about identical cousins and not include the Patty Duke Show theme song, which orients us to the whole identical cousin concept?

The Patty Duke Show opening credits

Let’s have equal time for Samantha/Serena:

Compilation of Samantha and Serena clips, Bewitched

So there you have it: identical cousins. Happy Cousins Day!


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