Chris Farley was super talented, he connected to the audience like no one else and he cared more about other people than he did himself; that's not common in Comedy. People were drawn to him & loved working with him.
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.
Chris had a simple upbringing, often him and his brothers had a lot of Fun. He put parents through Hell & was striving for attention even at a young age.
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.
Chris as a star himself was still star stuck by celebrities. The Paul McCartney interview on SNL, Chris was a magnified version of himself, showing off his own insecurities.
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.
It was sad he didn't love himself as much as everyone else loved him. The image he put out of himself was that he continued to live his life but deep inside he had issues. The addictions pulled him vs guided him to rehab and being Sober.
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!
The Clown's Prayer
As I stumble through this life,
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."
Tommyboy - Brake Pads
Chris made so many peoples lives better, Thank You Chris for all the laughs, you were like nobody else we have ever seen & we won't see anyone close to you in my lifetime.
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.
I am a young, go getter and I am very curious, a goal of mine is to learn something new every day.