The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

Tanner Colby

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0143115561

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The New York Times bestselling biography of an American comedy legend

After three years of sobriety, Chris Farley's life was at its creative peak until a string of professional disappointments chased him back to drugs and alcohol. He fought hard against them, but it was a fight he would lose in December 1997. Farley's fans immediately drew parallels between his death and that of his idol, John Belushi. Without looking deeper, however, many failed to see that Farley was much more than just another Hollywood drug overdose. In this officially authorized oral history, Farley's friends and family remember his work and life. Along the way, they tell a remarkable story of boundless energy, determination, and laughter that could only keep the demons at bay for so long.

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Belushi, those comparisons became gospel. In truth the two men shared far more differences than similarities. Still, in life and in death, Chris has borne the accusation of trying too hard to follow in Belushi’s footsteps—an accusation with varying shades of truth. Yes, Chris looked up to and admired his predecessor, but whatever influence Belushi’s ghost had on a young Chris Farley paled in comparison to the truly dominant forces in his life: his father, his family, and his faith. As far as

and “whore” had assumed the same status as “Good morning, how are you?” It was imbecilic and just as offensive as offensive could be. TOM SCHILLER: I think that the humor did change, and I didn’t get into it that much. And that’s because the times changed. But the stuff we were doing in the first five years of SNL, I wouldn’t say it was necessarily so smart. When they talk about this “dumbing down of comedy,” I think comedy just keeps changing with the times, all the time. You can trace

a few more mood swings, but his commitment stayed the same. You could tell he was just trying to buckle down and get through it. I appreciated that he was open about it, and we all tried to support him. TED DONDANVILLE: The whole time we were shooting Ninja, there were no problems whatsoever. He had the first relapse before shooting, and then the second relapse came after—idle time. BRAD JANKEL: When he came back for reshoots, he was a different person. I wasn’t there that day, but

was supposed to take us over to 30 Rock. Mike Shoemaker had one of the NBC pages in the car to babysit Chris. Chris got in and said, “We’ve got to make a stop. I’ve got to pick up some friends on 110th Street.” One Hundred and Tenth Street? Next thing I knew we pulled up at this place in Harlem. Chris went up and came out of this building with two women, looking exactly like what they were. They got in the car, and Chris said, “Okay, let’s go to SNL.” This NBC kid looked over at me like, “Are

fucking around. We’ve got another couple weeks to party over Christmas, and then that’s it. We’re gonna get sober, rent the house in Beverly Hills, get to work on The Gelfin. No more fucking around.” He told me he wanted me to hire a trainer, a personal chef; he was going to get back in shape. And those plans were made. I’d rented the house. I was asking around to find a trainer and a chef. Chris had every intention of going back to work in January. TIM HENRY: I drove home that day and

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