“Well, uh, that Biden fella is goofy looking and, uh, I believe we should make him the Vice President.”
~President Barack Obama
American Presidents run the gauntlet from “Ugly as sin” to “Your wife would bone him, let’s be honest” as far as physical attractiveness goes. But, to be President of the world’s greatest nation that only gets better when you remove the letter “e” from its name, you have to have a pretty large, healthy ego. So, for most Amrrican Presidents, there have been terrifying looking monster serving as their Vice-President. The more you think about it, the more sense it makes- much like a Bride giving her Maids of Honor ugly dresses to wear, the President wants the Vice-President to be there to make them look good. As much as her politics, rhetoric, and speeches were incredibly divisive and damaging to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, what really doomed him from the start was that he decided to choose a running mate who makes you feel sort of funny when you see how she looks in a bikini with a gun. Meanwhile, an old man and a MILF were running against a young man and the puppet from Jeff Dunham’s stand up ventriloquist bits.
Young man with a puppet running mate win every time.
It’s American to be an ugly Vice-President, and honestly, there are so few instances of non-monster-like vice presidents that those that don’t look like a child of Mothra end up having an easy ticket into the White House. Plus, we’re pretty sure that the only reason Teddy Roosevelt was a Vice-President before becoming President was that he threatened to shoot McKinley if he wasn’t made VP before pointing at his nose and saying, “That’s called foreshadowing, asshole.”
So as the representatives of the pulse of this fine nation, AFFotD is primed to run down a list of the 10 ugliest American Vice-Presidents. Because even if they achieved more power than we ever can hope to come close to, we can take solace in the fact that no one remembers their names, and they were goofy looking. Like, really goofy looking.
[editor’s note- though it’s an easy target most people can recognize, we are not putting Dick Cheney on this list, mainly because our research staff found a picture from his High School Yearbook, and the majority of our female staffers said, “Holy shit, I’d actually bang that guy.”]
10. William R. King (3/1953-4/1953)
William R. King was a Unionist who served for 6 weeks as the Vice-President under Franklin Pierce until his death from Tuberculosis. King took the oath of Vice-Presidency in Cuba, where he was being treated while it was (correctly) assumed he was terminally ill from Tuberculosis, and while some speculate that special circumstances led to the ceremony to take place on foreign soil, which had happened neither before nor since, but we at AFFotD believe that they saw a photograph of the guy they were making the VP and said, “Ah, Jesus Christ! Just, just do it out of the country, oh GOD.” He sort of looks like a horse and a frog had a kid, and they decided to give it a haircut meant for The Arcade Fire.
Just look at that stare he’s giving you right now. Imagine that this picture magically came to life and started talking to you. Wouldn’t you not be that all surprised if the first thing it decided to say was, “I wanna lick your face”? Like, your first thought would be, “Holy shit, this picture just talked to me,” not, “Holy shit this picture just talked to me and asked to lick my face.” You’d be more surprised if he said something like, “It sure is a nice day outside.” William R. King wants to lick your face, that’s basically what we’re saying.
To make matters worse, he was the Vice President under Franklin Pierce, who in no uncertain terms is a dead ringer for the Gary Oldman villain in The Fifth Element.
9. John C. Breckinridge (1857-1861)
Pierce never took another Vice President, so when James Buchanan (who actually lived with William R. King, and may or may not have been gay-sexing him) took office, he decided to cast Matthew Perry in the role of vice president, but only if he gained 40 pounds and grew a hairstyle you’re only used to seeing on a six year old kids.
It’s not often you can see a picture of a man who’s been dead for over 130 years and be able to precisely determine how high pitched his voice is, but here we have it. If Ralph Wiggum’s voice came out of this man’s mouth, would anyone be surprised? If this man had James Earl Jones’ voice, you’d probably have a surprise seizure, but if a child’s voice emanated out of that double chin, you wouldn’t even blink twice. Breckinridge was the youngest Vice-President in American history, being named to office at the age of 36. He eventually had to flee America after the Civil War, since he feared treason charges for serving as a Confederate Brigadier General before being granted amnesty in 1869 and spending out his days in Kentucky until he died of cirrhosis in 1875. While he did actively fight against America in the Civil War, and he looked a little like Chunk from The Goonies, we at AFFotD do have to salute him on three points.
1. He drank to the point that his liver said, “Eh, fuck it, I’m out.” Given that he was living in Kentucky, it’s only safe to assume this included an incredible amount of whiskey and bourbon.
2. He actively and strongly spoke out against the Ku Klux Klan.
3. As he aged, his moustache kept growing until he started looking like a goddamn Opium Den manager.
Plus, he had those glazed over, terrifying eyes.
8. Alben W. Barkley (1949-1953)
Alben Barkley served as Vice President under Harry Truman, before being replaced by Richard “It’s a bad sign when people use your face as a monster mask” Nixon when Eisenhower took power. While Breckinridge was the youngest Vice President this nation has ever had, Barkley was the oldest Vice President to date when he was inaugurated. And that didn’t stop him from getting married while in office. And not only did he get married, he got married to a woman 34 years younger than he was. We can only attribute this to the fact that people find power to be attractive, because, and we don’t mean to cause PTSD flashbacks of crying in a movie theatre, but he looks exactly like the old man in Pixar’s Up.
“But AFFotD,” you might point out. “When people age, it’s harder to determine what physical traits we can determine to be actual indications of beauty, or at least previous beauty.”
“Well, you see, as people age, the notion of beauty change radically. To find someone physically attractive at a younger age, clearly there might be a sexual component to your standard of attractiveness, which you might not use as a measuring stick when you’re discussing someone’s appearance as a geriatric.”
“So, when you discuss someone being attractive or unattractive at, say, 40, compared to when they are 70, there’s a huge difference. Many people are able to keep their looks for a long time, but eventually a certain age is reached when a different standard of attractiveness has to be put in place.”
Well, what do you say to this picture of Barkley when he was younger?
We know, right?
“I mean, that guy is just goofy looking.”
That’s what we were saying before you tried to get all academic about this.
“No, I mean, look at his ears! And his mouth! Hell, his nose! There is no part of his face that is proportional to the rest of the face. He looks like a political version of a Mr. Potato Head.”
We told you. We were about to warn you that you were making an ass of yourself.
“Yeah, wow, I feel really foolish. I’ll rescind everything I said previously. This guy is an ugly Vice President.”
7. Schuyler Colfax (1869-1873)
God, that beard. Schuyler Colfax served under Ulysses Simpson Grant (that’s his actual middle name). He had a long and productive political career, serving in office for nearly 20 years, though his name is not that well known since he likely contributed to no important legislation, since most of his life was spent grooming the most absurd looking beard that makes it look like he’s drooling in every single picture taken of him.
Schuyler Colfax was to facial hair what Sophia Coppola was to Godfather III- took a perfectly good concept and ruined it for everyone. This is what happens when a soul patch is left unattended in the wild. This giant Brillo pad of facial hair is sort of acceptable, since shaving back then was undoubtedly a pain in the ass, but the distinctive areas where no beard appears shows that this was a premeditated look. As in, one morning, Colfax woke up and said, “How about I grow a beard, except I’ll shave off my sideburns and my moustache as well!”
See!? There is NOTHING above his mouth line. What hell made him think this was a good idea? We were hesitant to point out how incredibly inane this island-of-beard-on-the-sea-of-Colfax’s-face was, but that’s only because we’re concerned that hipsters are going to take this idea and run with it as their next fashion statement. And we don’t want to put that kind of blight on this world. Speaking of facial hair…
6. Levi P. Morton (1889-1893)
Holy shit, if we saw that moustache in the wild we would assume it was a coral reef. Walruses get jealous whenever marine biologists show them this picture. Food was terrified to go near Morton’s gaping jaw, because they knew once their crumbs got into that beat of a ‘stache, they would be trapped there forever. Levi Morton, who aided in the establishment of Morton Grove, Illinois, which was named after him (…yay?) in 1895, was VP under Benjamin Harrison. He was popular as a Minister to France (boooo) and he placed the first rivet in the construction of the Statue of Liberty (yay). He had five children with his second wife while he was in his 50’s, and lived to be 96 years old, which is both impressive and terrifying when you consider that facial hair still grows after you die.
Uh oh, it’s you again.
“Well, no, I think this is a valid point to bring up.”
You’re just going to embarrass yourself again.
“I don’t think I am! I mean, sure, his mustache is ridiculous, but does that mean he’s really an ugly man? He seems to have a really kind look in his eyes in that picture, maybe he’s actually not that bad looking when he doesn’t have any facial hair…”
You brought this on yourself.
“OH JESUS! He looks like…like a turtle.”
“Just…oh my God, I can’t unsee that.”
Guess you know why he had the moustache in the first place.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I won’t doubt you again!”
We’ll give you time to get your heads straight, so stay tuned for tomorrow’s America Fun Fact of the Day, where we’ll be showing you the five ugliest Vice-Presidents.