I Am Chris Farley is a detailed glimpse about what it was to be around Chris. It was riveting. People like David Spade, Lorne Michaels, Dan Aykroyd, Adam Sandler, and his family shared stories that gave the viewer a truly real experience of who Chris Farley was. Here is what I took out of it.
Character Traits of Chris
- He was on SNL for over 100 episodes and truly cared about the show.
- Never fought for a piece or made it about himself. He was there for everyone and never left another member hanging.
- Had the most fun as possible with a joy to what he was doing.
- Incredibly friendly with little sense for competition among other comedians.
- He had a kind, gentle heart with a sense of innocence.
- Automatic charisma that made him powerful on stage.
- Total commitment and a perfectionist.
- Didn’t take it well when his work wasn’t reviewed favorably due to low self esteem.
I Am Chris Farley Details
- He learned from Del Close who was the Svengali chief to Bill Murray, John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd. Close taught creativity and not how to be funny. “Be free. Unafraid. Fail as often as possible. Try things. Die on stage.”
- Chris Farley was not the idea man for a bit and did not write his own material. He was intimidated by the writers and thought his own ideas weren’t strong enough. However, writers loved writing for Chris because he was able to make any idea better because of his natural improvisational ability.
Lorne Michaels was a big fan of Chris’ talent but knew he had some issues off the set. One time Lorne was talking to Chris and was warning him the risks of his lifestyle. He shared that Chris thought “If I’m a little fucked up, it’ll be alright. That’s where the magic comes from.”
- Bob Odenkirk gives insight into Farley’s mindset in this quote, “When your jumping up the steps in the showbiz ladder, and your leaping over everyone around you, and everyone is saying, “you better watch out.” Some part of you is saying, “No, you better watch out cause I’m kicking ass everyday.”
- Mike Meyers shared one of the gayest stories possible where he said Chris would be naked and interrupt his shower on a weekly basis and try to kiss him. It was weird.
Rise and Fall of a Motivational speaker
On May 8th, 1993, this iconic clip was delivered to the delight of SNL viewers. David Spade and Christina Applegate doing their best not to laugh steals the secondary show. I personally like the “rolling doobies” line.
In the years that followed this ’93 performance, Farley continued his rise to super stardom. The 1995 hit Tommy Boy is still considered an all time great comedy. His subsequent films like Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja didn’t have the same luster but he was proving himself a leading man.
As his fame grew, so did his drug abuse. Later in his life he had attended rehab a total of 17 times. I’d have to guess that these occurred most frequently in the years of ’96 and ’97. As his drug problems grew, his ability decreased. Here is a performance in the beginning of ’97 where Chris was not doing so well.
Chris on Coke on Jay Leno
He had a final performance on SNL on October 25th, 1997. He was a far cry from himself in 1993 and is difficult to watch as Matt Foley trying to motivate Will Ferrell. Comparing this to his ’93 performance is striking.
Chris Farley’s Death
His last day was Wednesday December 17th, 1997. He spent it primarily with a hooker called Heidi. Chris hired hookers regularly. Heidi was hired for Farley by a friend for $2,000. She joined Farley at a party in Lincoln Park (in Chicago) at 11 AM. There were drugs going around. Later that day, Heidi took Farley back to her apartment – where they continued to smoke crack and snort heroin. January 2008 Findadeath pal Pete Hertzberg sends this picture, which is most likely the door they used. Chris claimed he’d been up for 4 days, without sleep. They tried to have sex, but Chris couldn’t. Cut to 11 PM – Chris and Heidi were back at his apartment in the Hancock building. She was getting pissed off because she wanted to get paid, and Chris claimed that the friend was supposed to pay her. They supposedly tried sex again, unsuccessfully, and finally at 3am she decided to take off. Farley was clearly inebriated, and as she was leaving his apartment, he collapsed about 10 feet from the door. Heidi claimed she could hear that he was having difficulty breathing. He said to her, “Don’t leave me.” Figuring he had finally passed out, she snapped a photograph of him lying there and then left.
The word tragic should probably be used to describe the death of Chris Farley. Watching him shine in ’93 and then his demise 4 years later should be used in drug and alcohol classes around the world. How a person with so much talent can fall into the vice of that world is what you see. When I watched motivational speaker for the first time I couldn’t stop from laughing because I couldn’t understand how David Spade wasn’t on the floor already. Tommy Boy is still one of my favorite movies because I can relate to it so well. You learn to love Chris Farley because there is nothing not to like. It’s a shame that his life went south but it’s better than not having him at all.