An early press release revealed MacGyver's first name to be Stacey, but when the show aired it was never uttered.

    Press Release

Not until the last season episode "Good Knight MacGyver" do we finally learn that MacGyver's first name is actually Angus.

Why did the creator/producers choose to make a mystery out of MacGyver's first name?

5 Answers 5


Because it's an easy, dirt-cheap way of adding mystique to a character and make them more memorable. (And it worked - here we are, talking about it 25 years later!)

  • Counter Argument: James Bond's full name has been known for at least the past 50 years.
    – Tablemaker
    Oct 23, 2012 at 12:41
  • 15
    @TylerShads Well, rather counter example than counter argument (and the former doesn't neccessary produce the latter).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 23, 2012 at 12:53
  • 3
    I don't think the lack of a first name is why we still talk about MacGyver. If I had to name things why I watched the show, not knowing MacGyver's first name would be pretty far down the list. ;)
    – Oliver_C
    Oct 23, 2012 at 15:32
  • I just watched to see him turn a can into a tank using a pocket knife :)
    – Origin
    Oct 23, 2012 at 16:00
  • Do you have evidence from the creator/producers that this was their reason?
    – Flimzy
    Oct 24, 2012 at 19:52

The name 'Stacey' was never formally adopted within the show as canon: instead, they went for him just being called 'Mac'. The intention, in the first season, was for the character to have a somewhat mysterious background, with hints of history rather than specifics. This approach was dropped by the end of the first season, partly because it wasn't very successful, partly because it didn't catch the interest of the audience.

Instead, the character was given an increasing amount of backstory (not always consistent). By the fifth season, the absence of a first name had almost become a running joke; a near-reveal (done partly as an audience tease) established that MacGyver disliked his first name, never used it, did not allow its use and would not answer to it.

The full reveal was finally done in the final season, and a big production (a two-part episode with fantasy sequences) was made of it. Other than that episode, the only time the name was ever mentioned was in the series finale: it was revealed that MacGyver's son had been given the name 'Angus' as a middle name, and that he didn't like the name either.

  • 2
    May I ask where this information is from: The intention, in the first season, was for the character to have a somewhat mysterious background , This approach was dropped by the end of the first season ?
    – Oliver_C
    Oct 28, 2012 at 9:37

I think it had to do with the name Angus itself. When you think of that name, you come up with either images of a Scottish person, or just Angus beef (okay, maybe it's just me, but still). I think it's plausible Mac was teased for a long time in school about his name, and just decided to go with MacGyver or Mac for short. Mac sounds 'cooler' than Angus and doesn't illicit the same type of teasing (or questioning) that the name Angus would provide.

  • 1
    I don't think I'd heard much about Angus beef back then. I'd have been thinking of AC/DC. Mar 16, 2014 at 2:38

I think it was to create a connection with the title and the character, you wouldn't want to name your tv show 'Angus'. But you want your audience to remember the show and the character, so you have everyone call him 'Mac'. Plus, as the others said, it adds an air of mystic to the show.


His first name was Stacey. They kept it a secret to add a sort of mysterious aspect to him.

  • 2
    Hello and welcome to the Movies and TV Stack Exchange! Your answer is fairly short and doesn't reference any material to support it. Can you add in credible references to support your claim? Additionally, as a new member, please take a Tour of the site under the Help menu at the top of the screen to get some more information on how the site works and what sort of questions can be asked here. Mar 16, 2014 at 2:19
  • 1
    Plus, his name was Angus, so it's a low quality answer AND out-of-date info. Two things that are not well-suited to answers on the Exchange. Mar 16, 2014 at 2:35

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