The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts
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The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,115 ratings  ·  295 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...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Penguin Books (first published May 6th 2007)
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Ed
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...more
Mike
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...more
Marty
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...more
Jeff
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)
Patrice
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...more
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"
Katey
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...more
Mia
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...more
Jordan
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...more
Sheryl
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...more
Jeremy
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,...more
Seeking Sister
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.
Eric
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.
Christopher DeMarcus
This was a good book. I learned a lot about my favourite actor. The highlights were his devotion to Catholicism, and his horrible drug addiction. I've never heard of someone going through so many rehabs. I'm glad they chose to do the book in the style of a communal history. There were many times that I laughed, and I almost cried, too. Looking at Chris' life, it was almost as if he was born to go down this path. Like a greek tragedy, his light is a lesson to all of us. And he may be the funniest...more
Kelly
I thought I knew Chris Farley's story, but what I knew was only the surface. The entire story, in all its glorious and grotesque detail, turns this book from just another tale of a celebrity run amok into a multifaceted portrayal of a regular guy who should have lived a rich, full life. The book is very well-written -- or perhaps I should say well-edited, because the story is told mostly by family and friends whose words were organized by the authors with only occasional narration added to tie i...more
Hassan
One of the most memorable moments of my childhood is when my Dad took me to see Beverly Hills Ninja in theaters. To this day I still deeply admire the shamelessly unrestrained joy behind his performances.

This book is a touching account of the life and spirit of one of my favorite performers of all time. Candid accounts from his brothers and famous SNL cast members provide great insight on the relationships and friendships that fueled the life of Chris Farley. Excellent read if you want to learn...more
Kitt-e-kat
A really good book to read. It is put together by Chris's brother with all interviews from everyone Chris knew in his life from childhood to his death. Alot of insight about his home life as a child, being famous doing comedy on SNL and movies to his addiction to food, drugs, alchohol and making people laugh. Making people laugh was his goal in life. He was a sweet catholic boy who enjoyed helping people off the street, kids he met and never acted like a snotty movie star to anyone. He battled m...more
Paul Pessolano
Until I read this book I would have had no idea who Chris Farley was, except I remember reading about his death from a drug overdose. I sort of put him in the same category as John Belushi and Phil Hartman, both from SNL, and both dying from drug overdoeses.

Little did I know when I picked up this book that it would be an absolute riveting and fascinating read. The book is unique in that it follows the life of Chris Farley, with commentary from people that knew him best. One finds comments from n...more
Mishel Zabala
I remember watching Tommy Boy for the first time and falling in love with Chris Farley. He was adorable and absolutely hilarious. And while Black Sheep didn't leave a lasting impression on me, I do remember a fair share of laughter going on. While reading this book I learned that Chris was originally supposed to be in The Cable Guy and Shrek. And even though I can't imagine the two movies without Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, I still wonder where Chris could have taken the roles.

Chris also starred...more
Michael Clayton
A very insightful, funny, and ultimately heartbreaking book. It's primarily set up like an oral history, a book format I've always had a great love for, and it works well for this biography as there are some differing opinions about the events of Farley's lives and it juxtaposes those inconsistencies well. The book portrays Farley as one of the most gifted physical comedians of his generation and a figure that everyone in the book could not help but fall in love with, but he's also shown to be a...more
Evan Dickens
The Chris Farley Show is one of the most incredibly moving nonfiction books I've ever read.

It would be hard for any book to not be at least somewhat moving with this subject matter, as Chris Farley was by all accounts an incredibly unique, warm-hearted, and desperately troubled person. But the book's emotional impact is significantly enhanced by its oral history format: Other than some brief narratives to transition the chapters, the book is entirely excerpts from interviews of almost 100 people...more
Heather
My husband, kids and I are all fans of Chris Farley. I think especially because he was from Wisconsin. I hadn't read much about the circumstances surrounding his death before other than the obvious overdose. I don't think I was ready to hear it until now. Plus I was comforted by the fact that it was co-written by Chris's brother so although I expected it to be honest, which it was, I didn't think it would be all about the bad, which it wasn't.

That said, I am really glad I read this book. I enjoy...more
Chris
You could say that Chris Farley came into my life at a perfect time. Middle school and early high school usually isn't fun for anyone, and I certainly struggled to find any confidence in myself during these rough years. The one truly liberating outlet I had (and still do) was comedy. Chris Farley killed me like no one had before (with the exception of Jim Carrey) and helped me to just push on through to the good years ahead.

When he died, I was in total shock. Others remember where they were when...more
Brandy
The Chris Farley Show is written by Chris’s brother Tom Farley and Tanner Colby (co-author of Belushi: Biography). The book is written in a narrative style based on interviews done with his family, friends and co-workers. They each share their stories and perspectives of Chris through the years.

I didn’t watch SNL the years Chris was on – many of his skits I saw as re-runs years later. He was so loud and boisterous in many of his acts. I thought most were funny but wouldn’t consider myself a fan...more
Brett Starr
Chris Farley was hilarious, a great friend, a devout Catholic, a generous giver and a raging alcholic and hardcore drug user!

This biography of his life, written by his brother Tom Farley and Tanner Colby is excellent. I think they paid a great respect to Chris by writing this book. It covers Chris's life from childhood to highschool/college, from his early comedy days in Chicago all the way to SNL and his untimely death in December 1997.

The book features short stories from over 100 of Chris's...more
Stephanie
Definitely one of 2008’s best. The untimely death of Chris Farley deprived the world of not just his comedic prowess but his generosity and charity work. It’s amazing that even his close friends had no idea that he was involved in that much community service work (which shows he did it for all the right reasons). His faith: inspiring and admirable.

I loved the way the book was organized—a collection of memories from his childhood and high school friends, his priests, brothers, ImprovOlympic/Secon...more
Alice Bola
This book has been in my TBR pile for quite a while now. In my early twenties, I had such a crush on this lovable, funny guy. I was devastated when he died, especially since he was taken too soon from a drug and alcohol addiction that was much stronger than he was. The Chris Farley Show tells his story from the points of view from those who knew and loved him. Through their memories, I learned a lot about him. His story was presented brilliantly. It was a great concept to learn about him from th...more
Kevin Mellor
This is an oral biography, which means that whoever decided to put the thing together just interviewed a bunch of people for hours, then cut and pasted whatever they said that was vaguely interesting together to form some sort of narrative. I've read a few of them over the last couple of years, and although they're entertaining, I always walk away from them feeling that I've somehow been cheated. You're not actually gaining any information from an authoritative source that's done extensive resea...more
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Can't wait for it 2 24 May 28, 2008 06:33AM  
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