Talking about Chris Farley makes some people melancholy and others happy because to be realistic, the guy was absolutely hilarious and had so many great contributions to pop culture that trying to list them all kind of requires a video like this. The character of Matt Foley from Saturday Night Live is one of the most repeated characters, word for word, that Farley ever created, but he’s been responsible for so much since his time in the spotlight that trying to highlight everything doesn’t take forever, but it’s still a good bit of fun since he created a few roles that a lot of people still remember fondly. The whole ‘livin’ in a van down by the river!” bit is still quoted by people left and right at times, and if you ever watch the whole clip you can see just how infectious his sense of humor was as both David Spade and Christina Applegate were doing their absolute best not to bust up laughing. Think about it, this had to be something increasingly difficult to do around Farley, since the guy was about as funny as anyone that had ever graced the stage in SNL. In fact, a lot of people actually made comparisons between him and John Belushi at times, though the comedians were quite a bit different to be realistic, though their styles were similar at times. In a way he was inspired by Belushi since his characters were over the top and in the face of whoever they needed to be in order to get their point across.
Unfortunately like Belushi he was known for excess as he had a number of insecurities, his weight and his habits being among them. Chris did unfortunately suffer from substance abuse, though he did what he could to get clean at one point, which was a definite plus. His comedy didn’t appear to be as affected by it as one might think, though we’re not always told about what might be going on behind the scenes, even by the most on-point newscasts. The truth is that Farley, nice guy and everyone’s buddy, but as those at The New Yorker would agree he did have a few problems. He was a great performer, someone that people always said was a good friend, and one of those that definitely wanted to make people laugh, and he did that so well that his name is likely to last for generations to come. But unfortunately as it happens with too many people in show business there was something behind that funny exterior that wasn’t working right, no matter how much he tried to clean up and get back to a stable base. It did appear that he was working hard to make such a thing happen and had made it at one point, but for one reason or another the backwards slide was just too great, or too tempting, and as his movies began to slip side down the charts again his lifestyle started deteriorating. After the movie Tommy Boy things didn’t appear to go quite as well since his star was still easy to see, but it had definitely dimmed.
Black Sheep wasn’t a horrible movie, but it wasn’t nearly the same caliber as Tommy Boy, which stands out as the best project that he and his friend David Spade ever worked on. The story of Tommy Callahan was simply riveting since he was a bumbling moron that was suddenly in charge of a company that could have gone under at any moment, and yet he had such a big heart and love for the people that had worked for his father that he was bound and determined to make the situation work so that everyone could keep their job and go on thriving at the factory. All reports of his character beyond the camera indicate that this was how Farley was in real life, that he would gladly help out anyone that needed it, and that he was a good friend. He was even up for the role of Shrek at one point, but a lot of folks would never know since Mike Myers took the role and ran with it, apparently never knowing that his fellow SNL alum had been the first to sit down and read for the part. At this point listening to what Farley read however a lot of people would likely state that the current voice of Shrek is likely what would have been preferred.
Whatever happened in his past, whatever he was going through, the fact of the matter is that Chris Farley was a very funny man, and his legend is going to continue to live on for a good long while since old clips and movies that are still around are still being viewed and people are still willing to quote him verbatim. Sometimes you can’t ask for more than that.