‘Gilmore Girls’: Did Amy Sherman-Palladino Use a Pilot Script Typo to Develop a Later Season Comedy Bit?

Gilmore Girls fans learned Luke Danes’ name in the pilot episode of the series. The character, portrayed by Scott Patterson, would become Lorelai Gilmore’s most important love interest. The part wasn’t initially supposed to be a big role, though. Luke was such an afterthought that the script given to Patterson for his audition included a typo of Luke’s name. That typo showed up in a season 4 episode, too.

Scott Patterson revealed there was a type in his audition script

When Patterson walked into the audition for Gilmore Girls, he wasn’t expecting much. In the first episode of his new podcast, I Am All In, Patterson revealed that he had two auditions lined up for the same day. When he finished his first scene as Luke, he went to walk out. The casting agents informed him that there was another scene on the back of his script.

Jess Mariano and Luke Danes sit in the window of Luke's Diner in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life' Jess Mariano and Luke Danes in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Jess Mariano and Luke Danes in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

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Patterson said he hadn’t prepared anything for the scene because the character in it was not named Luke. Instead, the character was named Duke. He originally thought Luke and Duke were two different roles. The team informed Patterson that it was merely a typo, and both scenes were for Luke, the grumpy diner owner. Patterson read the second scene and went about his business, including the second audition. Later that evening, he went home and had a message on his answering machine informing him that he had landed the role.

In season 4, Jason Stiles repeatedly referred to Luke as Duke

By the time Jason Stiles showed up in Gilmore Girls during its fourth season, everyone in Lorelai Gilmore’s life knew Luke by name. Jason Stiles, however, couldn’t manage to wrap his head around the diner owner’s first name or the name of his business. In “A Family Matter,” the twelfth episode of the fourth season, Jason showed up to spend some time with Lorelai Gilmore in Stars Hollow. The new couple’s first stop in town was to get some coffee.

Jason wanted to stop at “Duke’s” because Lorelai spoke about it so much. Lorelai, reluctant to introduce Jason to Luke, tried to steer him away from the diner. Throughout their conversation, Jason called Luke the wrong name and his establishment Duke’s Diner several times. Lorelai corrected him each time. Eventually, the pair moved on to a different coffee spot because Jason tailgated Luke on the way into Stars Hollow.

Was Amy Sherman-Palladino paying homage to the Gilmore Girls pilot typo?

According to most people who have worked with Amy Sherman-Palladino, the famed Showrunner has an eye for detail. The cast of Gilmore Girls was expected to be word perfect, and no improvisation was allowed in scripts. Knowing what cast members have said about Sherman-Palladino, it seems unlikely that Jason’s misremembering of Luke’s name was a coincidence.

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel sit on a couch together in a promotional poster for 'Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life'
Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in ‘Gilmore Girls; A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

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Sherman-Palladino has never spoken openly about the fun fact. Perhaps it could come up in another press tour if Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life 2 ever gets made. As it stands, Netflix, Sherman-Palladino, and several major cast members are committed to the idea of a second season. Still, no announcement has been made. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost, though. Gilmore Girls continues to amass new fans each day thanks to the streaming giant Netflix.