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Black Sheep (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 2 February 1996 (USA)
A gubernatorial candidate hires a wormy special assistant whose only job is to make sure the candidate's well-meaning but incompetent brother doesn't ruin the election.


Penelope Spheeris


Fred Wolf

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Farley ... Mike Donnelly
David Spade ... Steve Dodds
Tim Matheson ... Al Donnelly
Christine Ebersole ... Governor Tracy
Gary Busey ... Drake Sabitch
Grant Heslov ... Robbie Mieghem
Timothy Carhart ... Roger Kovary
Bruce McGill ... Neuschwander
Michael Patrick Carter ... Scott Colleary
Boyd Banks ... Clyde Spinoza
David St. James ... Motorcycle Cop
Skip O'Brien ... State Trooper
Branden Morgan ... Fan (as Branden R. Morgan)
'Gypsy' Spheeris 'Gypsy' Spheeris ... Pocket Pool Lady
John Ashker ... Jim Blaine


Comedy about the prospective Washington State Governor Al Donnelly whose only stumbling block on the road to power is his embarrassing younger brother Mike. To keep him out of mischief, Al forces one of his aides, Steve Dodds to keep an eye on him during the election. However, this is easier said than done... Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's one in every family.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude language and humor, drug-related material and sexual innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

2 February 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Ovelha Negra See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,593,609, 4 February 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


There are two significant parallels between the Washington gubernatorial race depicted in the film and the 2004 Washington State gubernatorial campaign. Both featured a male and female candidate ( Dino Rossi and Christine Gregoire) and both elections were marred by accusations of deceased voter fraud on the part of the female candidate. While the former lead to the reversal of the result in the film, there was never enough evidence for such action in the 2004 race and Christine Gregoire was elected. See more »


When Governor Tracy is filming her campaign commercial in front of her house the long shot reveals no crew, yet once the recording is finished the crew is seen just a few feet in front of her. See more »


[Mike is pretending to be a cop, Steve is pretending to be a prisoner]
Steve: Ro-ads. Ro-ods.
Mike: Quiet back there! I've taken enough guff from you for one day!
[turns to state trooper]
Mike: Raving psycho! Butchered 400 chickens and screwed a beagle. I'm taking him back to Nevada where he's wanted for banging horses!
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Teri Hatcher/Dave Matthews Band (1996) See more »


Get a Job
by Kirk Miller
Performed by Hog
Courtesy of Geffen Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Dear Gene. It Doesn't Deserve Walking Out On !
1 September 2009 | by elshikh4See all my reviews

In his famous TV show, At The Movies, film critic Gene Siskel said that this was the first film he walked out on in 26 years of reviewing movies. Well, maybe he was having intestinal problem at the moment !

When an important critic says that, it doesn't mean necessarily that he's right. Originally, you are the one who can make Siskel's reviews, or else's, look right or not. Because any film critic is speaking his own mind, not yours. Sometimes it's the same thing. And sometimes it isn't. This time, obviously for me, it isn't !

Simply this is not a bad movie. The word "intolerable" got no relation with it whatsoever. It's a light and sweet slapstick. Nothing is too goofy or too zany. No one showed ridiculous performance. It reminded me with the work of Laurel & Hardy, yet in colors, and with somehow thrilling plot. Chris Farley is doing his routine, and the chemistry between him and David Spade is working.

The actual problem was that this movie came after (Tommy Boy - 1995) which was a better movie. So the disappointment had to be powerful. And yes, you have to ask yourself; why after a comic detailed breakthrough such as (Tommy..), the new dual goes and make something which's clearly not better, or as good ?! I believe the studio didn't know how to deal with the newly born star. So, they handled him any script just to exploit his success. But that wasn't for the sake of his career, us, and them; since the movie didn't hit the mark as its precedent.

The easy plan to invest Farley this time was by the reoccurrence of (Tommy..)'s factors. And sorrowfully Farley accepted it. Therefore some gags from the original (Tommy Boy) were recycled, however on a poor level with not much to support it either. For instance: the idea of idiot Farley and rational Spade, the problem of their sleep, even David Spade got nothing new to show this round; he was repeating the whole thing yet weakly ! And for some, it was hard to believe that the tongue-in-cheek was the movie's main, or only, goods !

Though, Black Sheep isn't really a Black Sheep. It is relaxingly uncomplicated, and has its moments. Just imagine that it was made before (Tommy..) and they had to release it later, and everything will be fine. I loved its innocent cartoonish sense, its running gags, the character of the old lunatic veteran (Oh God ! So Gary Busey CAN do comedy !! WAW as long as you live, as along as you see and be surprised !), and the whole wacky time of it, where I didn't feel a single second of cheesiness, or repulsiveness, or bore.

Dear late Gene Siskel.. I admire many of your opinions. But, you were totally unfair towards this one. 1996 got some of the real agonizing comedies. Kingpin, The Cable Guy, Larger Than Life are little examples. Sometimes the critic, even the ordinary viewer, stands many movies good or bad, one after another, to have no patience for more. So walking out on a movie could mean that one critic was being tortured by one movie. Or that one critic just, for a reason out of the movie, couldn't have a good time.

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