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Penn Badgley reveals the meaning behind his unusual name

His parents were pretty sporty, as it turns out
/ Source: TODAY

Anyone for tennis?

Penn Badgley presumably is. The "You" star appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Monday night and revealed a surprise to most of us: That his unusual first name has sports origins.

Kimmel inquired about where it came from, noting that there aren't too many people who have "Penn" as a first name, just Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller.

"It really comes from the tennis ball, that's the actually the extent of the story," says Badgley, 34. "I was I think about the size of a tennis ball, that's what my mom said to my father, bouncing a tennis ball, and that how it happened."

As he noted in a GQ interview in 2008, the comment came not after he was born, but while his father was anxiously squeezing tennis balls during his mother's first sonogram.

Love (Victoria Pedretti) and Joe (Penn Badgley) are a match made in heaven, and hell on "You."
Love (Victoria Pedretti) and Joe (Penn Badgley) are a match made in heaven, and hell on "You."Netflix

"You" has become a true viral success over its three seasons on Netflix. Badgley plays the personable, intense narrator of the series, who also happens to be a serial killer. In Season 3, he's apparently met his match and his soul mate in Love, who turns out to have some of his own proclivities.

At least his character is far more careful than, say, the producers dealing with consistency on the series.

On "Live!" Kimmel chuckled at the revelation of Badgley's name, noting, "Good thing it wasn't a whiffle ball, or you would have a really dumb name."

"Or Dunlop," parried Badgley.

"Or Wilson. Slazenger. You got the best of all the choices," added Kimmel.

Game, set, match!