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The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,234 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews
"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
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ebook, 368 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published May 6th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ed
Jul 05, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio
I tore through this book. Like the history of Saturday Night Live called "Live from New York" this is an oral biography of Chris Farley (interestingly, in this book the "Live from New York" book takes a pretty harsh hit from someone claiming he was misquoted in the SNL history). The oral format worked for me. As Tom wrote in the introduction, Chris Farley lived the type of life where all his friends had "Chris stories."

This book, like its subject's life, is funny, revealing, touching, maddening
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Barnabas Piper
Jan 12, 2016 Barnabas Piper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Farley was a staple of my youth, one of my favorite comedians ever, but his death of an OD always left me with a bittersweet feeling about his life. This book is one of the saddest books I have ever read for what it reveals of his lifelong struggle. I don't think I've ever seen such a poignant glimpse of the downward spiral of an addict. It's beautifully pieced together as an oral history, which is hard to do well. It brings smiles and laughs because Farley was absolutely genius as a comedian an ...more
Mike
Jun 01, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not typically into biographies or memoirs much, but this one intrigued me, particularly after EW and People magazines gave it extremely good reviews.

Turns out they were right.

It's like Titanic, in that you know what happens in the end. But the build-up is absolutely fascinating, tragic, and devastating.

The Chris Farley Show is presented in three acts of Farley's life. Farley's brother interviewed what must have been nearly 100 people who were close to Chris during his life and put those inte
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Marty
May 21, 2008 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's some real interesting tid-bits about his career.
It's real depressing to read about his endless struggle with his addictions.
But it was even more interesting to see his relationship with his 600 pound father and how he lived to please him. They were never able to acknowledge their problems with drinking and eating.
Another thing that took me aback was how deeply religious Chris Farley was. You would never have known that.

He comes across as basically the nicest guy in the world, but his add
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Jeff
May 11, 2008 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy. Speaking as someone who didn't give a damn about "SNL" when Farley was on it -- and who thought his movies were stupid, too -- this book is a sad, sweetly funny, enthralling, deeply moving account of a life that was, by all accounts, filled with incredible promise, both on and offstage. A horribly sad waste of life and talent that Farley's friends and family are still obviously trying to make sense of. (read for review)
Katey
Jun 06, 2010 Katey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever read a book, seen a movie or heard a story where you already know how it's going to end, but you're still completely caught off guard when it ends the way you knew it would?

I have been sobbing for the last forty-five minutes to an hour, as I finished reading The Chris Farley Show. This book broke me. I have read so many biographies - always about people who died too young; who died before anyone was ready for them to go - and never have I been affected like this.

The pile of used kl
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Travis Rockwell
May 12, 2016 Travis Rockwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never was a fan of Chris Farley, I'd only ever seen him in small rolls such as Coneheads, Wayne's world 1&2, airheads and billy Madison. However after reading 'The Chris Farley Show' I am now a huge fan, I have so much love for the man now and even gone eBay crazy purchasing all his movies (Tommy Boy, Black sheep,Beverly hills ninja) the 'I am Chris Farley' doco and his best of snl DVDs for further research. Chris Farley was a pure spirit and such a massively talented man, he had the bigge ...more
Patrice
Mar 25, 2010 Patrice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I grew up watching and loving Chris Farley on SNL and in his films. I was just starting to understand the horrible disease of addiction when he died. I was in high school it was 1997 and someone told me in the commons. It was shattering. I'd just lost my first friend to drugs the year before. My friend's death was still so shocking to me and when I heard about Chris Farley I just felt numb.

I read this book at work during breaks and while waiting for bills to type. I kept laughing reading the fi
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Kristy
Wahoo, I just got this for 5 bucks on the bargain shelf!!!

Chris Farley (Bus Driver): ... that Veronica Vaughn is one piece of Ase ... I know from experience, if you know what I mean ...
Adam Sandler (Billy): ... no you don't ...
Chris Farley: ... well, not me personally, but a guy I know, him and her got it on, wooo weeee ...
Adam Sandler: ... no they didn't ...
Chris Farley: ... no no no, they didn't ... but you can imagine what it'd be like if they did ...

"from billy madison"
Eden
I have been a fan of Chris Farley since I was a kid. The first movie of his I remember owning was a VHS tape of Beverly Hills Ninja, which I had watched many times.

I was still pretty young when he died and while I was upset, I didn't know that he had died of an overdose. I didn't know anything about his addictions at that time. All I knew that I loved his movies.

The documentary I Am Chris Farley premiered August 10th on Spike TV and I watched that. I really enjoyed it. It was a good documentary
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Ashley
Oct 04, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book, I feel like I know Chris Farley. And that has got to be the sign of a good biography, right? Comedy and tragedy as told by his brothers, friends and colleagues. This book was so well done.
Gurn Blintz
Jun 27, 2008 Gurn Blintz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book
Amelia Chameleon
I had fun with Chris Farley comedies - SNL, Tommy Boy, etc. - but was never a gigantic fan. But when I came across this biography, it called out to me and so I picked it up. It's a very interesting way to handle a bio. His family and friends gave hours of interviews and they were pieced together in timeframes to tell the story of Chris's life. It made for a much more interesting perspective and well-rounded story of who Chris was as a person and not just the public persona that we have seen. It ...more
Linds
I always thought that Chris Farley's death was a premature waste of talent. Another early senseless death to drugs and alcohol addiction.

What I didn't realize was just what a wonderful man outside of showbuisness he was. Everybody just loved the guy. When he was sober he did volunteer work for a Catholic mission in Hell's Kitchen and visited old people. He didn't just cut a check, he went down there and put the time in. He went to mass every Sunday and I was shocked that he had such deep faith.

T
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Jordan
Nov 22, 2008 Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non_fiction
I wasn't sure what I was going to write for a review when I clicked to add this title. Then I saw the Goodreads ads running down the side with links to sites about diet and weight loss and the anger I felt while reading the book returned. Even this many years after his death, we are unable to separate the talent of the man from the size of the man.

One of the most gifted physical comedians ever born, Farley could create equally huge laughs bursting through a wall or simply cocking his head an inc
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Sheryl
May 12, 2008 Sheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sad tale of a very funny man's demise. My family have really enjoyed his movies and it was interesting to read the stories behind them. The book is written in narrative style with direct pieces contributed by Farley's friends and family. Strangely, Adam Sandler did not make an appearance in the book.

Chris Farley couldn't seem to emerge from the shadow of either his father or the Catholic church. I have know several friends who had similar issues with Catholicism to the point of being a
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Jeremy
Sep 17, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: people-biography
Who knew Farley's uncompleted "Shrek" was head and shoulders above Mike Meyer's in terms of its humor and sensitivity? Or that his next role, a biopic about Fatty Arbuckle, would've cemented Farley's place as a dramatic actor? We never saw this man-child even near his peak, and while this book is specifically about that, it is generally about much more.
Written from the collected thoughts of those who knew Farley throughout his life, this book would seem to be a hit-or-miss. If you loved Farley,
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Laura Thompson
Nov 16, 2015 Laura Thompson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second time through the book. I love the way the story is told...it's very little narrative, mostly just recollections from his friends and family. It was laugh out loud funny MANY times, and it made me cry a couple times, too. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Chris Farley fan, or to people who think Chris was a one-note actor, just an addict who deserved what he got. I think after reading this book, both ends of the spectrum will have a greater appreciation and unders ...more
Michelle
Apr 20, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book while browsing the bookstore one evening, and a single quote from Chris Rock grabbed me and would not let me go. (It pertained to the infamous "Chippendales" SNL sketch with Patrick Swayze, and the full quote inside the book is even more arresting than the blurb on the back jacket.) I knew that book was coming home with me.

I'd never considered myself a fan of Chris Farley, but I'd certainly thought him to be funny, often enough. What put me off about him was what my sister desc
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Adam Nedeff
Jul 22, 2015 Adam Nedeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most difficult thing to deal with after you've read this book is that it's so thorough, so comprehensive in the story it tells that it severely alters your perception of anything featuring Chris Farley that you might watch for the rest of your life.

There's the Chippendale's skit, his breakout performance on "SNL." And opinion is split 50/50 among the people interviewed for this oral history. Half thought the skit was great, the other half HATED it with a venom that as to be read to be believ
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Teena in Toronto
Nov 30, 2014 Teena in Toronto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked "Saturday Night Live" back in the beginning and had stopped watching it by the time Chris Farley (1964 - 97) was on it in the early to mid-1990s. I hadn't seen a lot of what he was in (he'd only been in ten movies and starred in four of those) but I thought his story would be interesting ... and it was.

It's written by one of his brothers, Tom, and starts back when they were kids. Chris was a football jock and always wanted to get laughs. He barely got through university and went to work
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Sam
Feb 20, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sad.
Seeking Sister
Aug 21, 2008 Seeking Sister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
I am not a fan of books about celebrities, but chose this book for personal reasons. I was hesitant because of the style. It consists of interviews with people who knew Chris Farley throughout his life. I thought it might be disjointed, but it was not. It flowed smoothly and told the story of his life in an interesting and sympathetic way. Ultimately, I liked the book very much, and came to admire Chris Farley.
Rebecca
Jan 20, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was exceptional. It's written in quotes from many different people who knew Chris personally. This gave the book a very insightful and personal feel. I felt like I was really getting to know the man that Chris was. Compiled by his brother, I didn't know if the book would discuss Chris's addictions and struggles in detail, but I was pleased that instead, the book was unbiased and all inclusive.
I am an avid SNL fan, and enjoyed all of the insight to that era, and also his work on the st
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Katie
Dec 17, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This book is an amazing tribute to an amazing performer who battled demons that unfortunately ended up being bigger than he was. If anything, this book sheds light not just on how addiction works, but how it can happen to the best and most well-intentioned of people. You are truly missed, Chris Farley.
Amanda
Apr 19, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is heartbreaking and maddening and sad and ecstatically funny and, above all else, brave. To think that Chris Farley's brother and his family would be willing to expose their private lives so publicly in service of Chris's story is incredibly generous and courageous. The story itself is one of unbelievable highs and happiness generated by a true comic genius, but the demons of addiction and unfulfilled need shared by many other comic geniuses eventually trumped all. Chris Farley is a t ...more
Hayden
Sep 10, 2015 Hayden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. From avery young age I enjoyed SNL especialy during the farly era. I remember even dressing up as Matt Foley the motivational speaker charecter played by Chris Farely, durring halloween and at every house I would tell the candy giver that they were going to "Be living in a van down by the river!" I idolized Cris Farely. This book had a unique style with different quotes and opinins from many people in Farley's life. It was a a window into his life and it didn't spare any detai ...more
El_kiablo
Aug 01, 2015 El_kiablo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually liked this book more than I like Chris Farley's movies. A lot of his most famous work was very broad, and that's fine but not for me. However, the portrait you get here is really funny, and a couple of stories about Farley's best comebacks actually made me laugh out loud.

That said, the ending is (as you would expect) incredibly sad. His death looms large long before it occurs, and the foreknowledge of his untimely end makes it really hard to enjoy stories about times when he was being
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Derek
Mar 25, 2015 Derek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story of Chris Farley, told as an "oral history," is a fascinating look at how one person can be many things to many people. Farley comes off as a flawed, tragic figure, who spent so much time making other people laugh that he never really came to terms with who he was or what he heeded to be truly happy. There are a lot of celebrity biographies out there, but very few do such an amazing job of revealing the real, complicated human being behind the celebrity. I came away from this book with ...more
Eric
Jun 11, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
this book was a quick read. it's a collection of interviews with friends and people he worked with. it is worth the read just to read the entries from Bob Odenkirk.
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“BOB ODENKIRK: I didn’t like the fact that the first thing he became known for was that Chippendales thing, which I hated. Fucking lame, weak bullshit. I can’t believe anyone liked it enough to put it on the show. Fuck that sketch. He never should have done it.” 1 likes
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