"Basically, I only play one character; I just play him at different volumes."Christopher Crosby Farley
(February 15, 1964 — December 18, 1997) was an American comedian and actor famous for starring on Saturday Night Live
from 1990 to 1995. He, Adam Sandler
, David Spade
, Chris Rock
and Rob Schneider
, were known as "the Bad Boys of SNL," known for bringing in a new era of raunchy, shocking humor to the show (which, at first, was refreshing, but soon plunged the show into Seasonal Rot
in the mid-1990s and was one of the reasons why critics in the early to mid-1990s trashed SNL
for being juvenile and sophomoric).
Some of his most famous sketches included "The Chris Farley Show", where he'd nervously interview the guest hosts and/or musical guests, the "Zagat's Guide" sketches in which he and Sandler played wife and husband respectively, the "Coffee Commercial" sketch in which he plays a short-tempered customer, and the "Chippendales" sketch in which he danced off with guest host Patrick Swayze
. His characters on SNL
included Todd Connor of the Superfans, Bennett Brauer, one of the "Gap Girls" and, most notably, the homeless, clumsy motivational speaker Matt Foley. His celebrity impressions included Newt Gingrich, Meat Loaf
, Roger Ebert
, Hank Williams Jr., Lori Davis, John Madden, and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (notable because the first time he played Schwarzkopf was the last time Dennis Miller
was a Weekend Update anchor).
Farley appeared in a number of movies, which included Wayne's World
, Wayne's World 2
(as a different character
and Billy Madison
. After he left SNL, he would star in such films as Tommy Boy
and Black Sheep
, both of which starred him with Spade, Beverly Hills Ninja
and Almost Heroes
Sadly, he suffered from drug addictions and obesity throughout his career. He died tragically of a drug overdose in 1997 at age 33, eerily the same age and under similar circumstances as another SNL alum, John Belushi
, who Farley was said to have idolized.
Farley's last film, Dirty Work
, was released after his death, and also dedicated to him.
His brothers Tom, John, and Kevin continue to make cameo appearances in Happy Madison films
Tropes applying to Chris Farley:
- Acro Fatic: Despite his size, he was incredibly athletic, having previously played football in high school and rugby in college.
- Catch Phrase: His most famous one was Matt Foley's "I am 35 years old, I am thrice divorced, and I live in a VAN down by the RIVER!"
- "El Niņo" Is Spanish for "The Niņo": Trope Namer, in his last SNL appearance before his death.
- Fat and Skinny: Chris Farley and David Spade were often praised for their great comedic chemistry with each other in their films and SNL skits. It was common for Chris Farley to play a clumsy, but lovable idiot while David Spade would play a snarky and sarcastic little man.
- Large Ham/No Indoor Voice: Many of his characters, to such a degree that it often made his castmates break character, with Matt Foley as the biggest offender.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: One of his recurring shticks.
- Sad Clown: Being one killed him.
- To whit Conan O'Brien paid tribute to Farley by playing a clip from a past appearance in which he sang "I'm a Clown, But I Cry".