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Creator / Chris Farley

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"Basically, I only play one character; I just play him at different volumes."
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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., Tom Arnold, 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).

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Farley appeared in a number of movies, which included Wayne's World, Wayne's World 2 (as a different character), Coneheads, Airheads and Billy Madison. After he left SNL, he would star in such films as Tommy Boy and Black Sheep (1996), 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 Productions films. His friend and SNL co-star Adam Sandler released a tribute song for him, simply titled "Farley," in 2018.

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Film credits:

Tropes applying to Chris Farley:

  • Acrofatic: Despite his size, he was incredibly athletic, having previously played football in high school and rugby in college. Most notable was his perfect cartwheel during one sketch when he impersonated Bill Clinton. However, at least one cast member noted that whereas most physical comedians learned the arcane skills of taking a convincing pratfall without causing themselves serious damage, Farley's technique amounted to hurling himself at whatever was there without thought for whether or not he'd get hurt.
    • He would often use this as an icebreaker in real life. David Spade once told an anecdote about how the cast of SNL would hit the bars post-rehearsal and Farley would often approach a woman claiming that he was an aerobics instructor. When the woman would inevitably scoff at his claim, Chris would do a standing backflip, stick the landing, and continue the conversation.
  • 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!"
    • Another from "The Chris Farley Show": "That was awesome, man."
  • "El Niño" Is Spanish for "The Niño": Trope Namer, in his last SNL appearance before his death.
  • Fan Disservice: His infamous "Chippendales" skit with Patrick Swayze. His fellow SNL cast members praised his confidence to appear shirtless on-camera looking the way he did.
  • 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.
  • Nice Guy: Unlike his boisterous, manic character, the real Farley was a shy Gentle Giant who was deeply compassionate to his friends, family and even total strangers. Many of his co-stars have said that his personality on The Chris Farley Show skits was closest to who he really was.
  • Raised Catholic: He attended Mass regularly, including the night before his death. This included after his frequent late night parties with his friends at SNL after the show.
  • 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".
  • Stout Strength: Despite his heavy physique, he was a former football and rugby player.
  • Tempting Fate: According to Adam Sandler, upon warning Farley straight up that his lifestyle would send him into an early grave like John Belushi and John Candy, he replied that he was fine going out the same way as them, because they were his heroes.
  • True Companions: Chris Farley and David Spade became fast friends on the set of SNL and this was reflected in their on-screen chemistry and frequent collaborations. Spade took it upon himself to try and keep Farley's bad habits from getting out of hand and was so devastated by his friend's sudden death that he couldn't bring himself to attend the funeral, saying "I just couldn't be in a room where Chris was in a box."

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