As I flew 13 hours to Beijing I loaded up my phone with podcasts and audiobooks.
One of the books was The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts
By Tom Farley and Tanner Colby
I always was a huge fan of Chris Farley and remember watching him on TV in high
school and laughing my ass off. Then in college we had all his movies in our dorm
room. Even now I’ll still watch a YouTube clip of him once in a while.
So I saw his book on audible and decided to download it. I thought it was just going
to be a comedy and I’d be laughing, which I did a lot. But there was a much more
dark and scary side to Chris that I had no Idea about.
The book started with him and his huge Irish Catholic family in Madison WI. It
turns out that Chris was a practicing Catholic all through his life, and actually had a
very close relationship with his priest Matt Foley. The same name as the
motivational speaker character. But he was
also extremely superstitious because of his religion. When he was a kid he was so
afraid of the devil being in his closet that he would often
go sleep in his brothers room. This painted a very scary picture for me. The fact that
a child was so afraid of this mythical being in his head that he would lose sleep over
it made me feel pity for people like that. It’s not a good way to spend your
You could see how patterns of paranoia worked together with addiction problems to
ruin his life.
The book talks about when Chris had his first drink and how over time it developed
into problem that was out of his control.
There were however many fun and funny parts like when Chris told this girl he was
an aerobics instructor and then proceeded to do a backflip while he was in a bar. I
instantly visualized it, this book created many visuals in my head. Chis did get hot
chicks but he would always get
so nervous with them and end up making everyone feel really awkward. He would
play with a girls hair and say gee you really are perddy. It makes me laugh because
again I can see that in my mind.
What really shocked me was this life long battle with addiction, food, drugs,
hookers, and booze. All while being nervous and paranoid. He had a nervous habit
of tapping the floor twice or knocking on a wall or something to “even it out”.
This is beyond crazy, I felt really
bad for someone that messed up with those habits and mindset.
He lived in the Hancock Tower in Chicago, I know right where that is I live close to it.
It brought a more personal feel to the book. Unfortunately it’s also where he died.
When Chris lived in Chicago he was actually sober for 3 years.
Then the stress of not getting the right scrip or not having a movie
turn out the way he wanted it got to him. Now this made me think, I’ve never been
addicted to anything in my life. I do have some former friends who are addicts, and
I never understood why they
would continue to use. I compared Chris to my friends and thought why won’t he
just stop?! He has everything he could ever want and has so much more potential,
just stop! Well in Chris’s life, like in the peoples lives that I know, there is no
listening to reason or logic.
There is something inside of you that won’t listen to reason and just keeps telling
you to use, and use. Maybe there was a devil inside of him after all?
There is so much more to this book and it is very well written. Most books and
podcasts I’ll listen to while doing other activities and I won’t pay attention that close,
this book however I was glued to it. It created many pictures in my head and
elicited emotions from me and it’s rare that a book can do that.
R.I.P. – The Legend Chris Farley