Home / Q: What Did Chris Farley And Jimmy Carter’s Brother Have In Common?

Q: What Did Chris Farley And Jimmy Carter’s Brother Have In Common?

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A: Remember that 1996 comedy misfire Black Sheep, re-teaming Chris Farley and David Spade? Yeah, we didn’t think you would. In any case, Black Sheep presents an aspiring governor with all the right stuff whose election hopes are being continually hampered by a younger brother, played by Chris Farley. Farley is a good-hearted soul but a bit of a slobbish imbecile, and in attempting to win his brother’s respect, winds up triggering a series of public image disasters.

Now rewind about 20 years and compare Farley’s “black sheep” with the real-life younger brother of President Jimmy Carter. There are a lot of similarities, wouldn’t you say? For those who don’t remember, Billy Carter was a beer-for-breakfast kind of guy who proudly wore a “Redneck Power” t-shirt; he sometimes embraced the role of buffoon and sometimes tried to shake the stigma. His bid to become mayor of Plains, Georgia, close on the heels of his brother’s 1976 presidential victory, failed. He also failed as manager of the family peanut warehouse.

His PR makeover wasn’t helped by the fact that he regularly greeted reporters while perched on a stack of beer cases in his service station. It also wasn’t helped by his business initiatives: Billy once tried to cash in on celebrity, promoting a brand of – you guessed it – beer named for him. His biggest misadventure, however, came when he accepted money from the Libyan government in return for supposed influence he could exert on his brother. Dubbed “Billygate,” the episode prompted a congressional investigation and embarrassed Jimmy as his 1980 bid for reelection approached.

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  • Billy probably would have made a better President than his brother…