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The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

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A biography of the Saturday Night Live star as told by his friends and family No one dominated a stage the way Chris Farley did. For him, comedy was not a routine; it was a way of life. He could not enter a room unnoticed or let a conversation go without making someone laugh. Fans knew Chris as Saturday Night Live’s sweaty, swaggering, motivational speaker; as the irresisti A biography of the Saturday Night Live star as told by his friends and family No one dominated a stage the way Chris Farley did. For him, comedy was not a routine; it was a way of life. He could not enter a room unnoticed or let a conversation go without making someone laugh. Fans knew Chris as Saturday Night Live’s sweaty, swaggering, motivational speaker; as the irresistible Chippendales stripper; and as Tommy Callahan, the underdog hero of Tommy Boy. His family knew him as sensitive and passionate, deeply religious, and devoted to bringing laughter into others’ lives. But Chris did not know moderation, either in his boundless generosity toward friends or in the reckless abandon of his drug and alcohol abuse. For ten years, Chris cycled in and out of rehabilitation centers, constantly fighting his insecurities and his fears. Despite three hard-fought years of sobriety, addiction would ultimately take his life at the tragically young age of thirty-three. Fame on SNL and three straight number-one box office hits gave way to a string of embarrassing public appearances, followed by a fatal overdose in December 1997. Here is Chris Farley as remembered by his family, friends, and colleagues—the true story of a man who lived to make us laugh and died as a result. The Chris Farley Show is an evocative and harrowing portrait of a family trapped by addiction, a father forced to bury a son, and a gifted and kindhearted man ultimately torn apart by the demons inside him.


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A biography of the Saturday Night Live star as told by his friends and family No one dominated a stage the way Chris Farley did. For him, comedy was not a routine; it was a way of life. He could not enter a room unnoticed or let a conversation go without making someone laugh. Fans knew Chris as Saturday Night Live’s sweaty, swaggering, motivational speaker; as the irresisti A biography of the Saturday Night Live star as told by his friends and family No one dominated a stage the way Chris Farley did. For him, comedy was not a routine; it was a way of life. He could not enter a room unnoticed or let a conversation go without making someone laugh. Fans knew Chris as Saturday Night Live’s sweaty, swaggering, motivational speaker; as the irresistible Chippendales stripper; and as Tommy Callahan, the underdog hero of Tommy Boy. His family knew him as sensitive and passionate, deeply religious, and devoted to bringing laughter into others’ lives. But Chris did not know moderation, either in his boundless generosity toward friends or in the reckless abandon of his drug and alcohol abuse. For ten years, Chris cycled in and out of rehabilitation centers, constantly fighting his insecurities and his fears. Despite three hard-fought years of sobriety, addiction would ultimately take his life at the tragically young age of thirty-three. Fame on SNL and three straight number-one box office hits gave way to a string of embarrassing public appearances, followed by a fatal overdose in December 1997. Here is Chris Farley as remembered by his family, friends, and colleagues—the true story of a man who lived to make us laugh and died as a result. The Chris Farley Show is an evocative and harrowing portrait of a family trapped by addiction, a father forced to bury a son, and a gifted and kindhearted man ultimately torn apart by the demons inside him.

30 review for The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    I loved this book because it brings Chris back for me and will do that for anyone who reads it. I was fortunate enough to watch him when I was in high school when he was in his prime. I miss him and wish he knew how much he was loved. I'm very thankful this book was written...

  2. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    Chris Farley and I were about the same age when he passed away. He grew up in Wisconsin, and I grew up in Iowa. We both loved The Blues Brothers, SCTV, and Saturday Night Live. I felt like Chris could have been one of my high school buddies. We both loved football. I miss the heck out of this guy... THE CHRIS FARLEY SHOW is still one of my favorite reads of all time. Not just because it chronicles his life personally and professionally, but also because there seemed to be some telling moments in Chris Farley and I were about the same age when he passed away. He grew up in Wisconsin, and I grew up in Iowa. We both loved The Blues Brothers, SCTV, and Saturday Night Live. I felt like Chris could have been one of my high school buddies. We both loved football. I miss the heck out of this guy... THE CHRIS FARLEY SHOW is still one of my favorite reads of all time. Not just because it chronicles his life personally and professionally, but also because there seemed to be some telling moments in this biography. I remember some incidents where Chris probably didn't receive the guidance or discipline he needed when he made poor choices as a teen. It wasn't as if Farley had the attitude that he didn't need to follow any rules or laws, it was more of the fact that no one expected him to. He was the class clown. He was not mean, destructive, or violent...let him do what he wants! Or.... "That's just Chris being Chris." I certainly don't claim to have any answers as to the reasons behind the tragic end of Chris Farley's life. Still, there were parts of his story that made me wonder about how he perceived himself and how he fit into the world around him. Tom Farley, one of Chris's brothers, did a hell of a job writing this book. There's also a lot of the GOOD & FUNNY human being that Chris was in this biography. He really did have a heart of gold. He was the best...R.I.P. big man.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barnabas Piper

    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 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 and lovable as a person. But it leaves you with an ache. It's a tremendous book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 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 and ultimately tragic. There is a period in Chris' life where he really had his stuff together he was on top of the world and I was unaware of that. I was not prepared to for the Chris Farley that was sober and on top of things and brightening the world around him. That high period in his life makes his ending all the more depressing. Especially since it really seemed he was going to keep his addictions down and go on to break out from the "fat guy falls down" comedy and truly make something great one day. What surprised me was the unanimous love for Chris by everyone that is interviewed. Surely they could have found someone out there that knew Chris that thought he was a jerk? Even at his most outrageous he could still find a way to make people love him. To me, that's another tragedy of his life. He was greatly loved and it seems he really didn't see it or, if he did see it, feel he deserved it. It's also impressive for the honesty of all those interviewed. Sure, they all loved Chris but they do not airbrush his faults. Even some of things that made him endearing could become a pain in the behind if a schtick was carried on too long. His drinking, his drug use, his rehab and the problems of and caused by his family are all addressed here. It's an honest book and in a biography, that is all that you can really hope for.

  5. 5 out of 5

    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 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 addictions made it hard for his friends. It took too much out of them. It was a long downward spiral. He never reached the success he should have had, as Chevy Chase so bluntly put it and told Farley. That when he died of an overdose, he'd be just a 'blip' basically and that he wasn't John Belushi (the comparisons were always there). John was a force of nature and confrontational with people. Chris wasn't. He was naive and innocent, in a real genuine way. It would have been real interesting to see him as Shrek and David Mamet's Fatty Arbuckle biopic that he was trying for. And it really sucked to read about the whole Black Sheep fiasco and why his movies were not that good. He got dicked around with having to make a movie for Paramount (I believe) and essentially making a sequel to Tommy Boy (Black Sheep copies the same formula, storyline as Tommy Boy basically). Even though critics panned Tommy Boy, I love that movie to death. They call it a 'minor classic' and I agree. Anytime it comes on TV, I watch it. Chris Farley had that charm. It's a worthwhile read if you're a fan of Chris Farley, I'd say. I was expecting more laughs. Jay Mohr's book "Gasping for Airtime" has some hilarious Farley stories that actually top what was said in this book, really. So yeah, I was hoping for some more funny bits. The one glaring omission is Adam Sandler. I don't know why he wasn't involved, but it stuck out like a sore thumb that he wasn't there when everybody else was.

  6. 4 out of 5

    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 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 interviews in the book, uncensored. So you get stories about heavy drug use, alcoholism, overeating, and prostitutes, to name a few. Reading about the things that Farley went through, and how no one was able to stop him or help him, was haunting. I didn't know - and it seems like no fan did - what he and his family and friends went through in his last few years. It was as unputdownable as a book can be; I read it in about 4 or 5 days.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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 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 kleenex on my bed is seriously large. I have been crying so hard that I couldn't even read the words on the pages. It's a wonderful book, written in such a first-hand manner that you cannot help but feel it all that much more. The material is so familiar - I know all those sketches; I've seen all those movies - and yet so very foreign. I had no idea how much there was behind it all. It's so tragic and so heart-rending... I don't even know what to say. I'm so glad I read it, but I'm so sad now. I knew what was coming at the end of this book, but I just didn't want it to be true. Read it. It's really, really good. It's poignant and more honest than you want it to be, and funny - but sad-funny. It's hard to read but you can't put it down. It's a heart-breaking story about a wonderful person. I'm a total mess right now.

  8. 4 out of 5

    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)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 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. This is a transcript of reminisces of most people in his life. His brothers, his friends, his girlfriends, and his co-workers. It gives a very well rounded picture of a loving, hilarious, caring, and ultimately fragile and vulnerable man that couldn't countrol his demons and it killed him. This book is by turns heartbreaking and hilarious.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I thought this was really good. It is written the same way as the Live from New York book (sequential quotes used to tell the story from family, friends, coworkers, etc). There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff that went down with Farley that no one really knew (Paramount blocking his projects until he made Black Sheep, etc). I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the SNL and/or Farley. It has a lot of facinating stuff. It's a pretty tragic story and isn't really like Belushi I thought this was really good. It is written the same way as the Live from New York book (sequential quotes used to tell the story from family, friends, coworkers, etc). There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff that went down with Farley that no one really knew (Paramount blocking his projects until he made Black Sheep, etc). I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the SNL and/or Farley. It has a lot of facinating stuff. It's a pretty tragic story and isn't really like Belushi at all. I devoured almost the whole book in one day save for 40 pages or so.

  12. 5 out of 5

    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"

  13. 5 out of 5

    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 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 first two parts of this book. My co-workers kept asking me what was so funny. I explained that I was reading Chris Farley's biography and they understood. There were parts of this book that were so hard to read I almost didn't want to read the whole thing knowing the ending. Chris Farley was a brilliant and complicated man. There was so much more to him than the characters that he played on screen. At the core of Chris it's so apparent that there was an inherent beauty and goodness in his heart.

  14. 4 out of 5

    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, 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, you'll love this. If not... I'll admit to being surprised, however, that this was bigger than a story about a life that ended too soon. It's about families, brothers, fathers, enabling, entitlement from fame and the disease that took Chris from us too soon.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura T

    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 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 understanding of how multi-dimensional Chris was.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I plowed through this book in three short days, to the detriment of many other important, even essential, things I should have been doing. It's that captivating. Of course the tale of fame and addiction is nothing new, it's told in a compelling way, offering thoughtful insights into a man I'd never really much considered.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jon Patterson

    A fascinating read on the tragic life of Chris Farley. The book did an excellent job of compiling accounts from people who were close to Chris. This book offers helpful understanding of addiction, weight struggles, and covering insecurities with humor.

  18. 4 out of 5

    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 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 and a nice way to celebrate Chris Farley's life. But I realized there was a lot left out of it. Most of his movies, including up-and-coming movies, were either glossed over or not mentioned. I found out there was a biography about him co-written by one of Chris's brothers and knew I had to give it a read. I have read a number of biographies, but this format is different from any biography I have ever read before. Instead of just researching his life and writing a book from there, there are tons of interviews from his family, friends and people he worked with while he was alive. Although it was different, I really liked it and I felt that this book give quite a good insight into his life and just about who Chris Farley was. He was a kind and caring person. He wanted to make people laugh and he always wanted to please his dad. But, there was pain deep inside, he was struggling with something. And I am just sorry he was never able to beat his addiction. And it is sad that he thought so bad of himself. He didn't want to always be the fat guy that falls down, and I understand that. Chris Farley was never that to me. He made me laugh. A lot. Not because he was overweight, but he was just funny. And his movies were funny. But, I could see from his movies, despite being comedies, he could do more than just be funny. He wanted to do some dramatic roles and I definitely think if he lived, he would have done well in dramatic roles. I also think he would have made an amazing Shrek. Don't get me wrong, I love Mike Myers as Shrek. But, from the clip I heard of Chris Farley as Shrek, that role was made for him. Chris was so loved by so many people and that is made really clear in this book. No one sugar-coated anything. They didn't try to hide his addictions in this book, but it was made clear that despite his problems, Chris was loved and he was actually a really wonderful person. There were so many stories about all the things he'd done for people. I loved reading about that. And I know Chevy Chase was just trying to get through to Chris Farley, trying to get him to really take a look at where his life was going and what would happen to him. But, Chris Farley wasn't just a blip. He wasn't just an overweight guy that only had a few funny things in his career. I know he didn't have a long career, but he made a lot of people happy. And it seems to me, he had a lasting impact on many people who really knew him. This was a sweet, but heart-breaking book at the same time. Chris Farley was a funny, kind and caring guy. I wish he would have been able to beat his addictions so he could still be with us. I'd give this book four and a half stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aaryn Martin

    Chris Farley, one of the most iconic figures in acting and comedy today, is known for his early work on Saturday Night Live and movies that he starred in such as "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep", and even for kids my age (16) he is a joy to watch on screen. But that's the thing. Kids my age weren't born in time to ever meet Chris while he was alive. Fortunately, this wonderful book exists thanks to Tom Farley Jr. I say that becuase although I was never around to meet Chris Farley, I felt as if I rea Chris Farley, one of the most iconic figures in acting and comedy today, is known for his early work on Saturday Night Live and movies that he starred in such as "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep", and even for kids my age (16) he is a joy to watch on screen. But that's the thing. Kids my age weren't born in time to ever meet Chris while he was alive. Fortunately, this wonderful book exists thanks to Tom Farley Jr. I say that becuase although I was never around to meet Chris Farley, I felt as if I really got to know him as I was reading this book. The book is layed out like a script for a movie or a TV show with speakers such as Norm MacDonald, David Spade, Tim Meadows, Adam Sandler, Farley's brothers and even a speech from the man himself that he gave at a rehab facility while he was sober. Throughout the book, you will learn some interesting things about the mad, comedic genius. For instance, he was very strong in his faith and he very often attended church. Chris was also very superstitious. The very thought of the devil frightened him for years. All of the things you learn about him make you realize what kind of person he really was and he was indeed a very genuine human being. Like most stars in the entertainment industry, Chris fell victim to the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Things would eventually end for his role on Saturday Night Live because of that. What you find out about Chris, though, is that the drugs and alcohol didn't change the way he felt about people. He was the kind of person that was looking out for everyone else and making sure that you had a shirt on your back. In the book I read a part that said Chris wasn't acting when he did the skit known as "The Chris Farley Show" on Saturday Night Live. That's just really how he was. He was sweet and loving. If you pitched an idea for an SNL skit in a meeting, he would laugh no matter what to acknowledge you. He was truly a great loss to comedy and the world in general. This book gives the opportunity to sit down and really get to know Chris Farley. Not "Matt Foley" the Motivational Speaker or "Tommy Calahan" son of "Big Tom Calahan", but the person who was and still is the true, physical definition of the words "comedic mastermind"...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Giddy Girlie

    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 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 was very sweet to read about his very strong religious convictions and his dedication to charity work -- things that were not public knowledge in his lifetime. He was, in reality, exactly like you would have liked him to be. Silly and funny and sweet and caring. He was dedicated to his family and friends in a fierce way; if only he could have turned some of that incredible loyalty and love to himself... One of the back cover quotes says something to the effect of "when we see a public figure struggling with addiction, we often wonder why no one helped them. In this story, we see how even when people do all they can, it isn't enough" and it is so perfectly succinct. I was very glad to read that his friends and family DID try to help him through his struggles with addiction and he also invested a great deal in his sobriety. But his demons were stronger and he found himself repeating the cycle over and over. In fact (not knowing much about Farley, this was new to me) he died while "on a bender" because he was planning to start the new year back in rehab and was ready to invest more time and attention into his sobriety and health. He was trying to have "one last hurrah" and unfortunately it cost him his life (likely because his tolerance was low but he started partying at his former levels, which would have been lethal for anyone).

  21. 4 out of 5

    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 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 inch and making a face. But he had some severe problems, not the least of which was his own self-image. The book is heartbreaking in its depiction of the sad clown forced to make unfulfilling career choices because the audience and (to a much greater degree) the studio executives demanded to see fatty fall down.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trav Rockwell

    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 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 biggest heart. The Chris Farley Show is by far the best biography I've ever read, the book structure was fantastic with all of the closest people in his life contributing with 'Chris stories' which tells the whole story from birth till death. I'm so glad I purchased this book. I absolutely idolise and adore Chris Farley, thank you for coming into our lives.

  23. 4 out of 5

    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 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 afraid to sleep lest the Devil visit them in their beds. It's a strange religion that does that to folks. This biography is a good portrayal of a slow descent by a character that could never quite find himself. I will never see his performances the same way again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    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.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    So sad.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy Savage

    I listened to the audiobook. I didn't enjoy the voice actors. This is a sad read, a sad troubled life.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kip Johnston

    Farley was probably my favorite comedian growing up. I can quote Tommy Boy verbatim. It was tough to hear how much of a caring person he was in reality and to know how much he hated the disease that took his life. I was surprised to learn how religion played a part in his life and also how obsessive-compulsive he seemed. I listened to this as an audiobook and it plays like a series of interviews with people that he knew. It really makes me want to watch "I am Chris Farley".

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    So grateful for this recommendation from Alexa. Not having been a huge fan during his heyday, this book gave me new appreciation for his humor, but even more for his humanity and what a great person he was. Told from the perspective of those who knew and loved him, it was a story that had me laughing and, at several points, crying over his struggles and the world’s loss of this great person who cared so deeply about others. Highly recommend!

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