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The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 6, 2008

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 6, 2008
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616804580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616804589
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: You don't have to be a rabid Chris Farley fan to enjoy The Chris Farley Show, an honest, endearing oral biography about a truly funny, deeply troubled addict that is as likely to make you cry as it is to make you laugh out loud. Made up mostly of excerpts from intimate interviews with family, childhood friends, famous castmates, and writers, The Chris Farley Show is a vivid portrait of a performer, told plainly by the people who knew him best at every stage of his life. These hundred or so interviews piece together the complex back-story of a hugely talented, big-hearted guy who could make the funniest people in the business laugh with "just a look," but whose vulnerability and "puppy dog personality" charmed friends and family into letting him off the hook--preventing him from getting help when he needed it most. Funny and heart wrenching, The Chris Farley Show is a must-read for fans of Farley and of the people who loved him (including David Spade, Chris Rock, Tim Meadows), as well as anyone looking for a glimpse into life on the stage. --Daphne Durham

From Publishers Weekly

Chris Farley's older brother Tom is director of the Chris Farley Foundation, an institution dedicated to educating young people about addiction and inspired by the tragic early death of his comedian sibling. Farley has teamed up with Colby (coauthor of Belushi: A Biography and also a National Lampoon Radio Hour head writer) for this rip-roaring memory mosaic, talking to all the people who either knew Chris the best or were there at the important moments in his life. The interview quotes have been rearranged into a chronological narrative, which starts with Farley's childhood pranks in Madison, Wis., and moves on to the Marquette University theatricals that revealed Farley's flair for improv. Chicago's Second City catapulted him to Saturday Night Live, where he performed many well-remembered characters. Next came movies, but drugs, alcohol and rehab lurked in the background of his rise to fame. Molly Shannon recalled: He was just indulging in everything: girls, Chinese food, drugs, booze, cold syrup. Everything. With talents such as Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Conan O'Brien and David Spade analyzing his humor and detailing Farley's escapades and hijinks, this is a boisterous book the comedian's fans will want to buy, borrow or steal. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Great book, amazing life story of a once in a lifetime comedian!
Yet I recommend this book primarily because of its insights into the pain of alcoholism and drug addiction, its hopelessness and destruction.
E. Hoffman
This book was so amazing and I feel like I know a lot more about this great person.
Young Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Bosiljevac on February 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was in college, I saw Tommy Boy for the first time. At one part, I laughed so hard that I fell off the sofa with tears in my eyes. I thought I was going to hurt myself.

Chris Farley was from Madison, Wisconsin. Maybe it was his Midwestern roots, or his Chicago connection, or my age when he was at his peak, but he was one of my favorite comedians. This book is a hilarious and heartbreaking oral history of Chris's life by those who knew him best. I was laughing out loud at page 3, and nearly cried several times through the second half of the book. By the end, it had brought back all the good memories I had of watching his skits, and I felt like he was a friend I had grown up with.

Chris would do anything to be funny: not to get a laugh, but to give a laugh. Chris believed God gave him a talent and that it was his ministry in life to make people laugh so hard they cried. This comes through loud and clear from everyone in here. People loved Farley. He walked into a room and you laughed before he could say a word. He had such a good heart and such a giving personality.

What became apparent at the end of his life, was that he also had more than his fair share of demons. He wrestled with numerous addictions, constantly struggling with his weight, alcohol and drugs. He visited rehab more than a dozen times. His friends reached out to him time and again, but in the end, nobody could break his downward spiral.

All the big names are in here: Dan Akroyd, Lorne Michaels, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Tom Arnold, Chris Rock--all of his fellow Saturday Night Live cast members and writers, people who knew him from Second City and The Improv Olympic, as well as childhood friends and family.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. Jansing on May 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This was such a moving tragedy, I just couldn't help myself.

I was 17 when John Belushi died. I still remember being interviewed by some guy at the MEPS when I went into the Army in 1982 - "You don't do any of that stuff like Belushi did, speedballs or anything, right?" Considering that Belushi died in 1980, it was something that this memory was still fresh in the minds of so many people. Chris Farley could have been somebody like that. In many ways, I found him more likable than Belushi was, and every bit as talented. It is a tragedy that all of this pure talent, this spirit that Chris was born with, had gone to waste like that.

This book should be required reading for anyone studying substance abuse and the effect it has not only on the individual, but on those close to the abuser. I could feel the exhaustion that the interviewees felt as Chris sunk further and further toward oblivion. They all wanted to save him, but in the end, they were powerless to do much of anything. I couldn't imagine being one of those who subjected themselves to the brutality of 20/20 hindsight later on - "if only I had...."

I read that he was originally cast as Shrek with particular interest, and I imagined what that film would have been like with Farley delivering the line at the beginning of the film, "this is the part when you RUN!!!!!!!" I will be first in line when they sell the Shrek DVD with the Farley soundtrack. That must have been, as Chris might have said, "awesome."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. Thomas on May 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Chris Farley, read this book. It offers insight from the people who knew him best. However, I wonder why Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider didn't contribute more to the book. Just looking at the "public persona" of Chris Farley, you would never know about the dysfunctional, co-dependent family, the over-the-top, self-destructive, addictive behavior, all of the people who tried to help him and constantly warned him about his actions, and the deep seated self-doubt and insecurities that the man had. This book wasn't the humorous book that I expected, but I feel like I know and understand Chris Farley after reading it. Act I tells of his formative years, from childhood through his early experiences in comedy (Second City), to eventually being hired by SNL, all the while trying to keep his binges in check and surviving as a "functioning" addict. Act II covers a three year period of his life in the 90's, after a successful stint in rehab, and is a sort of "what could have been" had he stayed straight. Act III is terribly heartbreaking as the addiction takes control of his life and ultimately kills him.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've never written a review on this before, but I always read them because the reviews really help me decide whether or not to read a book. However, after reading this, I just had to write something because this book really touched me. I am 25 years old and I basically grew up loving Chris Farley on SNL and his movies. As a teenager I was very naive to the thought of anyone on SNL doing drugs especially Chris. I finished this book in less than a week, which is probably the fastest i've ever finished any book. It was an easy read and I found it very hard to put down, and when I did, I was still thinking about what was going to come next. I almost talked myself out of reading the last chapters because ultimately we all know how it's going to end. But of course I couldn't help myself. I honestly wasn't expecting it to be so sad, the worst part for me was the explanation of his last three or four days, down to the hour of his death. It was so tragic that I was thinking of it all night, and it kept me awake almost all night, just recounting everything in my head.

However, like someone said by the end of this book you really feel as though you know Chris as a person and as a friend. It's almost like you're reading about someone you've known for years. This book tells you some things you never would have thought of Chris both good and bad. I loved it, and I've been recommending it to people since I finished page one.
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