‘NCIS’: Why Few Characters Call Gibbs By His First Name

by Joe Rutland

“NCIS” star Mark Harmon has played Leroy Jethro Gibbs since it first started. Very few call him by his first or middle name. Why?

That is what we are looking to ascertain, Outsiders. But an article from Looper gives us some insight.

There are a few characters on “NCIS” who have earned the right to call him either “Leroy” or “Jethro.” A majority of them simply call him “Gibbs” and move along.

Who, though, has called him anything other than his last name? Usually, the “NCIS” character gives the right to those he’s dating.

‘NCIS’ Character Allowed Select Few To Call Him ‘Leroy’ or ‘Jethro’

Obviously, there’s his late first wife, Shannon. Some of his exes also have called him “Jethro.” These include Hollis Mann, Ellen Wallace, Stephanie Flynn, Jenny Shepard, and Diane Sterling.

As far as “Leroy” goes, the only person on “NCIS” that has called him by his first name was his late father Jackson, played by Ralph Waite.

Gibbs was named “Leroy” after one of Jackson’s best friends, Leroy Jethro Moore, played by Billy Dee Williams. Jackson and Leroy had their issues as fathers and sons will do. They patched up their differences and grew closer until Jackson died in the 11th season of “NCIS.”

Now we’re down to “Jethro” and who gets permission to do so. Well, if you are a regular “NCIS” viewer, then you have noticed Donald “Ducky” Mallard do it. Mallard, played by David McCallum, has known Jethro for a long time. Methinks 40-plus years as friends can lead to Jethro feeling comfortable around “Ducky.” Mallard has been someone Jethro can lean on for advice or consoling when life gets too hard to handle.

The CBS crime drama will start up its 19th season in the fall. You get the opportunity to see if another person is allowed beyond Gibbs’ cold stare.

Yep, Harmon will be appearing in some episodes this coming season. Longtime fans, though, will have to adjust their viewing habits. “NCIS” has been moved to Monday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central. It will act as a lead-in for the new spin-off, “NCIS: Hawai’i,” starring Vanessa Lachey as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant.

Show Teases That Gibbs Goes Missing In Season’s First Episode

Wait a minute. “NCIS” always has Harmon appearing in the opener, right?

But he’s apparently not in the first episode. That’s according to a story from SPOILERTV. It totally did not state he would not show up. Yet looking at the synopsis, it shows that the “NCIS” team is busy looking for him.

A brief description said, “As the NCIS team searches for Gibbs after wreckage from his boat is discovered, they find out he was tracking a serial killer with journalist Marcie Warren.”