He was my favorite comedian, hands down, there was nobody else like him & there won't be anyone like him in my lifetime. The characters he played on SNL and in movies like Tommyboy & Black Sheep were in many ways actual representations of himself; he was a larger than life character, often over the top & gave off the image he was fearless but deep down inside, he was frightened and terrified. Chris had a big heart, he was kind, gentle and innocent; in that was also a frightened person. He had Low self esteem & never thought he was good enough.
He was born in Madison Wisconsin and had 3 other brothers. He connected to the audience, cared about his work and people were drawn to him because of his natural ability to make people laugh.
He wanted to outdo the other brothers, always horsing around and competing for the Spotlight which I can relate to. The nuns would often tell his Mom "the Students at school were laughing AT Chris not with him."
Chris's Dad was grooming him to take over the family business Scotch's Oil Company interestingly the plot in Tommyboy was very similar to Chris's real life at home & relationship with his father.
Chris would often kill them with laughter, he was friendly, had an infectious personality, he was kind, a puppy dog at heart. He was not arrogant or melitious, never cocky even though he was the best in the room which says a lot about Chris.
He cared about the show, never fought for his time or piece. He was comfortable just being a part of things and he cared about everyone on the Show; not just himself and that is uncommon for comedians.
Farley didn't need a lot of prep, he could just wing it. He could improvise like no one else.
An interesting fact, he doesn't block his fall much if any, Chevy Chase and David Spade would warn him "You gotta block your fall." But Chris took it as pain, almost too committed using his body to make people laugh.
His self deprecating manner, vulnerability in some of his characters were inspired by his real life struggle.
He seemed so comfortable and natural but inside he was terrified. They said Chris lit up the room, but he did everything to excess. He was a friend to excess, loved to excess , kind to excess, also drinking and partying to excess. Chris was caught in a world he couldn't get out of. He never said no to a dare, all in an effort to make people laugh and to get the attention he craved and
desired since he was a kid.
They said he was a sweet guy before Midnight. Then the darkness wasn't something others would want to be around. He would isolate himself when he would realize he was going down the wrong path with drinking and drugs & want to be alone.
Myers, Spade, Lorne Michael all tried to help and give Chris Warnings how worried they were for him. they thought he drank too much (after the show) and even showed up drunk to some skits.
He would go on stage and was clear as a bell but drunk. Then after the show drunk again almost on auto pilot in front of the fans when he was on stage making people laugh.
Chris was doing WELL acting in movies like Waynes World, Coneheads & Billy Madison; he was happy, killing it and having a good time. He had the IT factor and at that time entered into a rehab and was sober for a good amount of time.
Doing Black Sheep and Tommyboy, it was Ying and Yang with Farley and Spade. They worked so well together as good friends on and off camera.
Initial reviews for Tommyboy were BAD and hurtful and took Chris back to drinking and drugs.
The video came out and everyone LOVED Tommyboy, even though it was sabotaged in reviews while it was in theatures but Time Magazine named it top 10 comedy of all time.
Once on TV it became a HUGE Hit and very popular.
Fat guy in a little coat wasn't originally in the Tommyboy Script, Chris kept doing it (backstage while filming) using David Spades actual suit jacket and they eventually put it in the movie.
Tommyboy is a sketch how Falrey grew up in Wisconsin. Years later, Black Sheep tried to replicate Tommyboy and pickup where it left off with similar characters for Spade and Farley.
They knew there was a difference between the two films but the two movies grossed about the same, $32 million each, both getting their following from VHS vs theature box office.
Farley relapsed again after Black Sheep & went in and out in Rehab.
He had a big appetite for life, food, drinks, drugs and partying. In and out of rehab 17 times, he was FRESH the first few days out of rehab, eating better and excited for the "2nd chance."
"You can't walk around being funny all the time, you have to have some down time," Bob Odenkirk says "You can't always be on stage and performing, you need some quiet time and be by yourself sometime." Towards the end, everyone knew, he was in trouble, he was sweaty, his eyes were different, he was in deep. Sandler said it was rough seeing him like that.
Chris was so magical but success in show busness is difficult. Everyone thinks they could handle it but Chris's addictions were too strong. We all wanted MORE of Chris, he died so young.
Sandler, Spade and Lorne Michael all would tell Chris, "You gotta stop, you are going to die from this stuff..." Chris died in Chicago December 18th 1997 at the age of 33. Many were sad but they were not Shocked. He died alone on the floor, he had so much more to give.
Thank You Chris!
- Chris was born February 15th, 1964.
- Started out in 2nd City in Chicago in 1989.
- Comedian Del Close taught comedy and creativity at 2nd City, Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Belushi, taught them to be free, unafraid and fail as often as possible.
Try new things, fail and get back the next night.
- Chris knocked a guys tooth out and accidentally gave a guy a scar on his head because he was so much into his character he forgot about the other people on stage for a second.
- Mike Myers got hired at SNL and he recommended Chris Farley and got him on the show in 1990.
- Lorne Michaels gave Chris a chance and always thought he was the child Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi never had.
- Chris left Madison, WI and went to NY for SNL, he was excited but also scared.
- Chippendale skit with Patrick Swazey was the Funniest "Fat Guy" taking his shirt off and dancing with an in shape Patrick Swayze. Adrian and Barney were their stage names and it was one of the first SNL skits that put Chris "on the map."
- Chris dated Lorri Bagley 1999, she said she thought he wasn't a goofball and he was so beautiful on the inside.
- Motivational Speaker started at 2nd City then aired on SNL on with Christina Applegate & David Spade in 1993.
- Chris was doing his Dad as a character when he played Matt Foley the Motivational Speaker & the name came from his real life priest Father Matt Foley. Chris often renamed his SNL characters as real life friends in Chris's life because it was easy for Chris to relate and remember his lines and mannerisms.
- Chris starred in Waynes World with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, then Coneheads then Airheads.
- He was a Bus Driver in Billy Madion "I'll turn this damn bus around and run your precious little field trip."
- Tommyboy - Initial box office dollars and reviews were LOW, it wasn't until the movie came to video where it picked up steam and became one of the top 10 comedy movies of all time.
- Black Sheep years later was released in an effort to mirror Tommyboy's VHS success.
- After Black Sheep Farley relapsed and back in rehab.
- He was sober for Beverily Hills Ninja.
- Final appearance on SNL was October 25th 1997. Chris hosted SNL again and he openly and honestly talked about him wanting to quit goofing around, be more responsibly, straighten up and grow up, he was the new Chris.
The Clown's Prayer
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more cheer than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.
Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.
And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile."
Chippendale Dancers Farley & PATRICK SWAYZE
Chris Farley as Shrek (1997 Story) [LOST MEDIA]
Tommyboy - Brake Pads
Like Chris, I love making people laugh and I never want to bring any sadness to anyone; let's keep the laughter going.
Cheers, Rest Easy Chris.