Another urban legend, which I've heard told about various mathematicians, and which Misha Polyak self-effacingly tells about himself (and therefore might even be true), is the following:
As a young postdoc, Misha was giving a talk at a prestigious US university about his new diagrammatic formula for a certain finite type invariant, which had 158 terms. A famous (but unnamed) mathematician was sitting, sleeping, in the front row. "Oh dear, he doesn't like my talk," thought Misha.
But then, just as Misha's talk was coming to a close, the famous professor wakes with a start. Like a man possessed, the famous professor leaps up out of his chair, and cries, "By golly! That looks exactly like the Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch Theorem!!!"
Misha didn't know what to say. Perhaps, in his sleep, this great professor had simplified Misha's 158 term diagrammatic formula for a topological invariant, and had discovered a deep mathematical connection with algebraic geometry? It was, after all, not impossible. Misha paced in front of the board silently, not knowing quite how to respond. Should be he feign understanding, or admit his own ignorance? Finally, because the tension had become too great to bear, Misha asked in an undertone, "How so, sir?"
"Well," explained the famous professor grandly. "There's a left hand side to your formula on the left."
"Yes," agreed Misha meekly.
"And a right hand side to your formula on the right."
"Indeed," agreed Misha.
"And you claim that they are equal!" concluded the great professor. "Just like the Grothendieck-Riemann-Roch Theorem!"