Home Motorcycle Ridiculous fame at least as old as 2 obese twins on motorbikes

Ridiculous fame at least as old as 2 obese twins on motorbikes

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Whenever I hear someone is a “YouTube star” or is famous for TikTok videos, I roll my eyes. How crazy is it that all you have to do to be a celebrity in modern America is make a dance video or record yourself doing something stupid that people are going to watch?

It’s absurd.

Then I remember the McCray brothers.

You may remember that. Or maybe you know them as the McGuire Brothers, their name during a short wrestling career. Either way, if you’re 50 or older, you’re probably familiar with these obese twins.

Billy and Benny McCrary were famous because they were listed in the Guinness Book of World Records (now Guinness World Records) as the record holders as the fattest twins. It sounds weird now, but I suspect that 75% of my elementary school students knew who they were – if not by name, at least by the most famous photo of them, the one that graced every annual Guinness Book of World Records. world during my youth. . Benny and Billy sitting on minibikes. More precisely, enveloping minibikes.

Each of the McCrarys weighed over 700 pounds. You read that right: the two of them weighed 1,500 pounds. This fact and their inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records (and especially the photo) made them celebrities.

In a way, they were already celebrities before my friends and I knew them: they were known in the region as wrestlers as part of the National Wrestling Alliance and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Why wouldn’t they? Two 700 pounds was a big draw!

The Guinness Book of World Records caused a stir in the 1970s, as did disco and pet rock. At least it was a sensation for the school children. A few students would buy the book at one of those school book fairs and we would pass it around. Read and see photos of the fattest twins. The longest fingernails. The oldest living man. Biggest cat. Most tattoos.

The editors of the book knew how to put pictures and the McCrary brothers were the stars of the book. While their photo wasn’t the first, it was one of the first and the fact that they rode minibikes (apparently they had been on a motorcycle trip across the country) made it undeniably interesting. Everyone knew the McCrary twins.

I’m sure parents of my generation thought it was dumb, the same way they thought our music, our fascination with fart rocks and our love of “Welcome Back, Kotter” was dumb.

But the McCrary brothers were undeniably celebrities. Do you know how I confirm this? They appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson at the end of their 3,000 mile motorcycle journey.

Billy died in 1979 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Benny died of heart failure in 2001, aged 54.

Here’s the thing: The McCrary brothers were one-trick ponies. They were massively obese. And they were twins. Their fame was bolstered by a single photo: them riding tiny motorbikes.

It didn’t seem strange in the 1970s that they were celebrities for that, which is important to remember whenever we get mad in 2022 about someone being a celebrity for something stupid.

So maybe stupid celebrity (YouTube star! Tik Tok video!) isn’t new.

It might be as old as two guys sitting on a small motorcycle to get elementary school kids interested.

Contact Brad Stanhope at [email protected].