The Occasional's Guide to Vice Presidents


The Vice Presidency has a rich and wonderful history. Actually, it doesn’t. The position is filled with no-named mediocrities who have achieved very little beyond being written about every once in a while by sixth graders and adult imbeciles. 

With that said, all of the VPs have at least a few some interesting idiosyncrasies, some of which are to the right...


George Clinton


  • Loved keys!
  • Was a surgeon for two days before turning his back on it for good, claiming it was “gross”
  • His laugh was often confused for a crying baby
  • Frequently moved his bowels in the bubble bath
  • Was fond of wearing a decorative eye patch despite having no apparent eye maladies
  • Once fought off an unruly mob of orphans with a mop
  • Designed a flag for his state that contained two grizzlies devouring a beaver
  • Combed his hair with a Bible
  • Was violently opposed to wishing wells
  • A skilled debater, when running for the governorship of New York he once convinced a group of voters that he could transform into a giant leopard
  • Was thought to be narcoleptic, but was actually just super chill
  • Once wore ice skates for an entire year (1809)


Elbridge Gerry


  • Could fit his entire fist into his mouth, and occasionally even into the President’s
  • Was the first “Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Kentucky,” a title he earned by picking words at random out of a dictionary
  • Face down, ass up. That’s the way Elbridge liked to fuck.
  • Supported hemp, probably. Legalize it!
  • Upon his death, was revealed to have been two midgets standing on each other’s shoulders and wearing a long coat
  • Claimed to have invented shaving
  • Would often stink up the President’s private restroom and blame it on Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin


Daniel D. Tompkins


  • Once knighted a squirrel in the Oval Office
  • Known for always bringing his mother as a date
  • In 1819 went on a fishing trip with James Monroe that he would never shut up about
  • Didn't believe space was real
  • Lost part of his family fortune investing in boots for giraffes
  • Couldn't give a speech without mentioning that he once taught a puppy how to fire a rifle
  • Was excused from the house floor in 1823 for speaking in a language he made up while wearing a headband made of chicken beaks
  • Didn't understand why they couldn't make a prison for babies
  • Celebrated entering office by making love to a loaf of sourdough on top of the White House
  • Named one of his kidneys "Pablo" and claimed it had a human face
  • Ate a wheelbarrow of ice cream on every birthday


Martin Van Buren


  • Prayed to a wicker statue of himself
  • Heavily annoyed by rain, he'd often fire a gun into the clouds
  • Well known for speaking in dolphin noises when unsure of a question
  • Thought he was chosen by God for the job based on his pubic rash in the shape of a bald eagle
  • Air xylophone extraordinaire
  • Believed that every species had its own Jesus
  • Once rode a hot air balloon from Indianapolis to New Mexico territory just to call his ex a whore


George M. Dallas


  • The first vice president to choose Greco-style wrestling as his White House sport of choice
  • Had one slave solely reserved for “tickle fights”
  • Riding his horse to work each morning, and letting it shit in the halls of Congress, he’d think, “Y’know, public service ain’t so bad”
  • Deathly afraid of string
  • Ran an illegal bunny-for-meat mill in the White House backyard
  • Had two mulatto daughters, one named Salt, the other Pepper
  • Didn’t believe in contracts or official documents. All it took was a look in the eye and a solid handshake. Hence, the Mexican-American War of 1846
  • Once told Napoleon at a White House dinner: “You ain’t so short”


Millard FIllmore


  • Believed the earth was a parallelogram
  • Once held a four-hour press conference on the importance of owning a Slinky
  • Known for bragging about winning a game of Yahtzee while on fire
  • Ordained a bat in 1842 after drinking a fishbowl of moonshine
  • Got a kick out of cursing at owls
  • Had trouble entering a bakery without becoming fully aroused
  • Owned 12,000 tiny hats


John C. Brekenridge


According to legend, was not particularly interesting


Schuyler Colfax


  • A kind man, he was known to pull “cinnamon sweeties” from his beard, to give to “the kitties and lads”
  • Was married to a barrel of sorghum for a full year due to his extreme nearsightedness
  • Used to refer to Ulysses S. Grant as “Pop-Pop”
  • Often credited with inventing the stationary bicycle
  • Obsessively asked strangers to give him detailed accounts of their dreams
  • 473,023 towns named after him exist in the state of Wisconsin alone
  • Refused to believe New Hampshire was not a country in France, despite having a summer home there
  • Is famous for his nine-hour filibuster where he simply repeated the word “doodlebug” over and over
  • Absolutely loved to jig
  • Never learned to work buttons
  • His mummified corpse was briefly on display in a South Bend, Indiana T.G.I.Friday’s, unbeknownst to the management, who thought it was a mannequin obtained at a rummage sale


William A. Wheeler


  • The great-great-great-great-great-great-great uncle of Honey Boo Boo Child
  • Was only responsible for one piece of legislation: It should henceforth be mandatory to wink after telling a saucy joke
  • After three snifters of whiskey, would begin to brag that he liked women’s privates “messy and zesty”
  • Was too busy looking for his name in Playbill to prevent Lincoln’s assassination
  • Had his wife knit special underwear that read “Second to One”
  • Coined and copyrighted the phrase: "Eatin' ain't cheatin'.” Died a rich man.


Thomas Hendricks


  • Appointed District Attorney of Franklin County from 1846 to 1849. A position that had previously been held by a stack of old newspapers
  • Ate a pie on every single bridge across America!
  • Could only get it up in a wig
  • Was convinced all pears were Jewish
  • His favorite son was a porcelain doll
  • Kept an empty jar in his icebox labeled “monkey ghost”
  • It wasn't uncommon for him to show up at your doorstep with a bathtub of crab meat


Garret Hobart


  • Was the first person to ever laugh at someone riding one of those old-timey bicycles with the huge front wheel
  • Loved the britches. Big, small, black white, you name it. Bastard wore those britches out!
  • Was the inspiration for “Hobart Graham Swirl,” the worst-selling Ben & Jerry’s flavor of all time
  • Best-smelling Vice President (pre-Quayle)
  • On a dare, once touched ass cheeks with Chief Justice Melville Fuller
  • Developed sketches for an early prototype of the “Fleshlight”
  • Widely regarded as the “illest” Vice President
  • Proposed a Constitutional amendment banning the use of the phrase “to get one’s [blank] on"


Thomas R. Marshall


  • One of his feet was made entirely of cork
  • Had a habit of gently licking his wrist when nervous
  • Well known for his keen wit, one of Marshall's most memorable jokes contained the punch line, “And the cow simply said, ‘Randy did it.’”
  • Is rumored to be the inspiration for the Bob Seger rock-and-roll song, “Turn The Page”
  • In 1922 Marshallthought he’d killed a man for trespassing, but quickly realized he’d attacked a mirror with his bare hands. He received more than two hundred stitches.
  • He trained his beloved dog “Mama” to catch shrimp!
  • Once told a reporter that he would rather bunk with Hitler than go within thirty feet of his wife's meatloaf
  • Loved the freedom of wearing a tube top around the house
  • Is the purported great-great-grandfather of bounty hunter, Duane Lee "Dog" Chapman
  • Spent four days in jail in his early 20s for urinating on Chester A. Arthur from a hot air balloon
  • Loathed the sound of bells
  • Wrote a bill proposing that all dogs go to Heaven
  • One of his favorite party gags to perform was an X-rated stunt called, “Banana Slug Goes A-Dancin’”
  • Never completely mastered skipping
  • Froze to death after wandering away from publicity tour of a Boys Town ranch 


Charles Curtis


  • Insisted on taking President’s Day off
  • To earn extra dough, worked nights as a bartender at Georgetown University’s Der Rathskeller
  • Would passive-aggressively refer to everyone but the President as “chief”
  • Lived like a loser on the White House couch years after leaving office
  • Nicknamed “Fat Fuck Phoenix” by the Secret Service


John Nance Garner


  • Known as the “Cargo Shorts Veep”
  • Would frequently entertain White House guests with his renowned blackface performance of “My Funny Valentine”
  • Married a woman who had opposed him in an election for county judge. The two were later played by Justin Long and Rashida Jones in the successful rom-com adaptation, Holding Court
  • Duties included holding FDR’s hair back on those nights when the President had one too many pitchers of gin sours
  • As President of the Senate, often cast his tiebreaking vote for “burritos” when voting on the chamber’s lunch order
  • Scandalized when D.C. gossip papers printed photos of him nude arm wrestling with Eleanor Roosevelt


Alben W. Barkley


  • His motto was, "If there's way to carry a few items in a satchel that attaches around the waist and hangs above the buttocks, I WILL find it!"
  • Laid the cornerstone for the country’s first Friendly’s ice-cream parlor
  • Often wore a corset to hide what he called his "meaty bubbles"
  • Stumped his way across the entire state of Alaska, often talking to no one but a few birds and logs
  • Never once used a plate
  • Favorite foods were popcorn and noodles
  • Ran terrified from a screening of The Wizard of Oz
  • The "Rachel" haircut from Friends was based on the hairstyle he wore in his later years
  • Pleaded on his deathbed to have a sandwich named after him    


Spiro Agnew


  • His official museum is located in the back of a Potomac, Maryland Piggly Wiggly’s
  • In 1972, eschewed the campaign bus for a used Chevrolet Nova
  • Was the inspiration for the mega 1976 Heart hit, “Magic Man”
  • Insisted on greeting visiting dignitaries while seated in a giant beanbag chair
  • Whenever pulled over for speeding, would “accidentally” pull out his official Vice President’s License
  • Adopted a troubled Russian boy that he later just left behind while on a Moscow diplomatic mission
  • Famous for his 1971 White House toast in which he wore black socks and a tank top, speaking only in tongues

Illustrations by Adrian Walsh

This article was originally published October 2012