TrumanCoyote's Reviews > The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

The Chris Farley Show by Tom Farley Jr.
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Jan 27, 12


Okay, first off a caveat: you have to be a little bit worried about a druggo's bio that is sanctioned by the whole family. I mean, you definitely get the feeling that things are maybe gonna be skewed a little bit, especially in this wienie day and age. And indeed, I definitely could've done without the epilogue painting its rosy little picture at the end.

However, this is still a helluva book, and fully worthy of the tremendous Belushi oral biography (which was also worked on by the [apparently amazing] Tanner Colby). It was a great idea to start out with Farley's real-life motivational speech at the halfway house...definitely gets you into it and sums things up even before we start, simultaneously giving us a long shot and putting everything into focus. And despite my concerns, everyone comes off as pretty frank here; there aren't too many airbrushed edges and the proceedings are mercifully low on psychobabble.

It seems somehow like a fault of the text that Farley falls so abruptly off the wagon after 3 years of abstinence. But I suppose that's the point of it, that no one quite understood it (even now), and fortunately nobody does try to explain it in doctorial terms. Maybe what that one guy said was really cutting to the heart of the matter: how Farley had never had any other dream but appearing on SNL, and now that he'd done that, what was left?...except getting stuck in the midst of increasingly crappy movies, with no more repertory "team feeling" left (uh-oh, looks like I'm turning into Sigmund myself!...lol; but it was indeed a great mystery in his life, perhaps the most puzzling aspect of all).

He comes off (despite the superficial resemblance, and his own identification) as being very little like Belushi (other than the fact that they were both big fat loud comedians who took drugs). But Belushi was always confident, even arrogant; he didn't much seem to care whether you went along with him or not (or at least, that was the image he projected); whereas Farley sort of seemed to crave the attention and recognition. I must say I never have thought nearly as much of Farley's comedic talents as everyone in the book seems to...although I have been changing my view about that recently, looking at some of the old clips again. Oh yeah, and I saw Tommy Boy, which I found quite enjoyable (even though David Spade was in most of it).

That final picture, of Lorne Michaels coming back from the funeral, says it all: "Another fat guy in a body bag." I kept looking at that shot (and being sort of chilled by it) over and over again; it can definitely bring a lump to your throat.
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