Chris Farley was a uniquely talented physical comedian – in fact, some say he's the greatest of his generation. Even though he died at the young age of 33, these crazy Chris Farley stories will live forever. The sweet Wisconsin boy was raised as a devout Catholic, and found his way into comedy at Second City in Chicago, IL. Fame soon followed, as he was cast on Saturday Night Live and starred in movies like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. Along the way, he created fodder for plenty of stories. Some are hilarious, some are tragic, and some of these insane Chris Farley tales have entered the realm of comedy lore.
Farley was a larger-than-life persona, and literally a large man, a fact he used to push his comedy even further by creating absurd characters. The difference between Farley and every other physical comedian was a sense of risk; Farley didn't break his falls with his hands. He always went for every ounce of comedy gold he could dig up. But that go-for-broke attitude had a dark side. Farley struggled with drug addiction throughout his life, and he eventually died of an overdose of cocaine and morphine.
These true stories from the life of Chris Farley, as told by his close family and friends, reveal a man who was generous, gifted, and more than a little eccentric.
Fat Guy In A Little Coat Came From An After-Hours BitPhoto: Tommy Boy / Paramount Pictures
During his 2014 Reddit AMA, David Spade explained how one of the most memorable scenes from Tommy Boy came about:
"Chris was always doing that bit to me at work. We shared an office... and Chris's desk was behind mine, and he didn't really know how to write, or read, really (kidding!) but he would come in bored... and he would say, 'Davey... Turn around,' and I said, 'If this is "Fat Guy in a Little Coat," I'm not turning around. It's not funny anymore.' And he would say, 'No, I've got a whole new thing I'm doing.' And then I'd turn around, and it would be him in my Levi jacket, and he would say, 'Fat guy in little coat! Don't you give up on it!'
"And so when we did Tommy Boy, we were just looking for jokes and scenes to make them better, and we decided that was funny to us, maybe it would be funny to there people. So we put 'Fat Guy in a Little Coat' in, and he sang it (which was funny, and not the plan), and then we had to cut the coat in the back to make sure it would rip."
He Named Matt Foley After An Actual PersonVideo: YouTube
Saturday Night Live fans know Farley's popular sketch featuring motivational speaker Matt Foley, who tried to steer young kids away from having to live in a van down by the river. There is an actual Matt Foley, and he is the head pastor at St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, IL. Farley met Foley on the rugby field when the pair were both at Marquette University. They became fast friends and remained close throughout Farley's life; Foley even presided over Farley's funeral.
In the documentary I Am Chris Farley, Foley described meeting Farley for the first time: "He was kind of a prepster. Rugby is a rugged group, and I thought he might have a difficult time. But he fit right in and he was a pretty decent athlete, too."
Farley invented the down-on-his-luck, loud, motivational speaker character when he was at Second City in Chicago. "My name is Matt Foley, and I'm a motivational speaker," Farley said one night when Foley was in the audience. When Farley got to SNL, he brought the character with him.
On May 8, 1993, Foley got a call from Farley. "Matt Foley is going to be on tonight; you've got to watch it," he said. Foley tuned in and heard his name on national television. "It was a little shocking," he admitted. "But I thought the skit was hilarious."
He Got Conned His First Time In New York CityPhoto: Billy Madison / Universal Pictures
Not every story from Farley's life could be included in the documentary I Am Chris Farley. However, in the DVD extras section, fans can hear Farley's brother Tom tell a story about the comedian's first time visiting New York City. Co-director Brent Hodge related the tale during an interview with The Fix in 2015:
"There was a great story Tom Farley shared with us. Tom was living in New York and Chris arrived for the first time. They were driving around in a town car. Chris opened the window and yelled out of the car, 'I’m in New York City!' And he was waving at everybody. He didn’t have a debit card yet so Tom took $500 out for him. He was walking around the streets and he saw guys doing the three dice game where they hide the dice and it’s all rigged. In the first round, Chris put the $500 on it and lost it all. That’s such a great expression of his character. This young kid from Wisconsin coming to the big city."
He Was Obsessed With Licking ThingsPhoto: Almost Heroes / Warner Bros.
A few of Farley's friends claim that the funny man had an obsession to lick things. "Chris Farley, everywhere we went, was licking everything," Adam Sandler said on The Late Late Show in 2015. "We went out to dinner at Wally and Joseph's, like 20 of us... we're walking and I'm talking to him and he goes, 'Antsy, you just gotta give me a minute.' And I go 'OK, buddy,' and I saw him run back a hundred feet and lick a mailbox and come running back."
Bob Odenkirk, a former Saturday Night Live writer, also witnessed Farley's odd licking compulsion first hand: "He'd open his wallet and lick everything inside it, the pictures, the money. He had to lick his shoelaces to tie them. It was totally nuts."