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April 14, 2023

Ryan Reynolds sings Rob McElhenney a rousing birthday song about his confusing last name

The Wrexham AFC co-owner went all out to celebrate his friend from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Writing articles about "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" means having to spell the name of series star Rob McElhenney, which just now took several attempts to type correctly. 

The capital "E" really disrupts the whole keyboard flow, and it also leaves some room for doubt about whether the stress should be on the second syllable. It shouldn't be. The proper pronunciation is "MACK-el-henney," which isn't really that hard to say once you get your head around how the spelling looks. 

McElhenney, who turned 46 on Friday, was greeted on Twitter with a spirited birthday song from his best bud and Wrexham AFC co-owner Ryan Reynolds. A simple "happy birthday" would have sufficed, but Reynolds opted to go big with an Irish-style jig about how to pronounce McElhenney's last name.

There's even a cameo from Eagles legend Jason Kelce. The pronunciation of his name has caused confusion thanks to comments from his younger brother Travis. .

Reynolds has a pretty charming voice. He once appeared on the South Korean singing competition show "King of Masked Singer" and admirably performed "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie." The birthday song may have been made as much for Reynolds' own enjoyment as it was to amuse McElhenney.

According to the Internet Surname Database, McElhenney is one of several Anglicized forms of the Old Gaelic "MacGiolla Chainnigh," which translates to "devotee" or "servant" of St. Canice. The "Cainnech of Aghaboe," as he was also known, lived during the early medieval period and is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. 

Some 1,400 years later, this namesake helped lead us to a hit TV show about the worst imaginable humans running a crappy bar in Philly and endlessly bickering with each other. And it's still going strong! Production is underway for the 16th season

"Welcome to Wrexham," the FXX series documenting Reynolds and McElhenney's venture as owners of a storied Welsch soccer club, also will return for a second season after a successful debut last summer. There haven't been any updates about when season two will come out, but the team is currently cruising atop the standings of the National League, which is the fifth tier of English soccer. If the club keeps it up, Wrexham AFC will get promoted to the English Football League for the first time since 2008.

Not bad for a couple of Hollywood stars who entered the soccer business with no experience running a club.

As it turns out, McElhenney's "Always Sunny" co-star Glenn Howerton turned 47 on Thursday. McElhenney got outclassed by Reynolds in the birthday wish department, but the picture he shared of Howerton evens it out.