It doesn't seem like 10 years have passed, does it?
With "Tommy Boy" rerunning on cable every so often and the images of motivational speaker Matt Foley burned into our memory banks, it seems as though Chris Farley is still with us.
But, it was 10 years ago -- Dec. 18, 1997 -- that Madison native and Marquette University grad Chris Farley died from a drug overdose.
Farley was 33 at the time. He had been off "Saturday Night Live" for about 2 ¬Ĺ years. He was only on the show from 1990-'95, joining the same year as Chris Rock, but he was part of several unforgettable sketches. (It's easy to picture him dancing around as a lunch lady or acting catty as a Gap girl.)
Ten years ago, Farley died of a cocaine / heroin overdose in his Chicago high-rise apartment. He was a larger than life figure with appetites to match. His death left a void in the comedy world and some would say that "SNL" hasn't been the same without him.
Before he died, Farley did a guest spot on the show and looked out of shape and out of control. Given his size and the rumors about his appetites, his death seemed surprising, but not shocking.
His funeral was held Dec. 23 in Madison. I remember seeing news accounts of the service, which was attended by Adam Sandler, Rock, Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman, Dan Akroyd, John Goodman, George Wendt, Rob Schneider and others.
Next year, a biography "The Chris Farley Show," will be released. It was written by Farley's older brother, Tom, Jr., and Tanner Colby and will include funny and often poignant stories of Farley's life and stories from co-workers
I look forward to reading that book. And I look forward to laughing the next time I see the commercial for the "SNL" DVD that features Farley at a Chippendale's audition with Patrick Swayze.
Years later, it still cracks me up.
The book is great - funny and sad. Damn shame that we lost Farley, but nobody can say he didn't have multiple opportunities to stay sober.
It makes me sad to think what a great comedian and person he could continue to be today.
It's unfortunate that the substance abuse will be one of the major things remembered about Chris Farley. A surprisingly devout and giving Catholic up to his death and his support of Red Arrow Camp near Trout Lake (he was a camper there as well as a counselor) will be what I remember about him. I look forward to the biography revealing to people this side of Chris Farley.
NBC ran a "Best of Chris Farley" last week Thursday. Thank God for the DVR. Watched it Sunday and hadn't laughed so hard in a long time. Matt Foley. Lunch Lady. Gap Girls. Herlihy Boy. The Chris Farley Show with Scorsese & McCartney. Chippendales. Coffee Commercial. They had me rollin'.
I appreciate it more 10 years after the death than I did during. RIP Mr Farley. You are missed.
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