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Peter Billingsley Confessed He Doesn't Get Any Royalties From A Christmas Story

Like a frozen lamppost, "A Christmas Story" is on a great many tongues today. With the teaser for its sequel, "A Christmas Story Christmas," now bouncing around the internet, fans of the original are again taking themselves down a particularly snarky part of Cleveland Street. Given the movie's popularity and longevity, it would be easy to think of "A Christmas Story" as a near-constant moneymaker for those involved. That would be wrong, though.

In December 2018, Peter Billingsley — who in 1983 played the 9-year-old Ralphie Parker — called into "The Dan Patrick Show" to talk all things "A Christmas Story." Billingsley, who has continued his career as an actor into adulthood, as well as expanded his resume to include directing and producing, expressed a great amount of joy for having been part of such an iconic Christmas film that makes people laugh and has become part of their yearly holiday ritual. Then Patrick asked about payment, particularly royalties and whether Billingsley still receives them for his performance. "No. You know, that's sort of the bummer," he admitted. "Maybe that's why in my perspective you've got to find the joy in it."

Billingsley is doing just fine, though

Dan Patrick playfully ribbed Billingsley for a bit, insinuating that there might be a lot more joy if the actor and director were in fact still getting a bit of a payday for his most iconic role. How exactly it is that Zack Ward –- who played the supporting role of Scut Farkus –- can keep getting a respectable royalty check in the mail every couple of years, while Billingsley –- who had far more screen time –- gets nothing, is unclear. This, after all, is a movie that for the better part of 20 years has been broadcast for 24 hours straight by TBS on Christmas Eve (via NextTV). Call it the magic of Hollywood math.

That being said, Billingsley has also helped create a handful of some of the most successful films of the past couple of decades. This includes serving as an executive producer for "Iron Man" and co-producer for another Christmas classic, "Elf." This is on top of his acting and directing work. So while there's no denying that it would be nice to have a couple grand popped in his mailbox every now and again, we're guessing that Billingsley isn't exactly hurting for the cash.