The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts is an amazing oral history pulled together by Chris’s older brother Tom Farley, and Tanner Colby – who also wrote a biography about John Belushi. This account starts with Chris’s growing up and living in
Much of Farley’s addiction problems stem from a obese alcoholic father, whom Chris would do anything to please. At almost 600 lbs by the time of Chris’s death, his father was an enabler of the worst kind. Chris once took his father to a weight loss clinic, where they left during the group session after his father claimed that they didn’t have a problem like those other people. After the session, they went on a binge weekend in
Chris would spend a number of stints in different rehab centers, once staying sober for three years. Some say that he did some of his best work during this time of sobriety. He was on to some great things while he was battling his demons – he was cast as the original voice of Shrek (he had almost finished the voice work when he died, Mike Myers was later cast), and he was in talks for a movie about Fatty Arbuckle, a silent film star whose life had similar characteristics to Farley’s.
The power of the words from the people who knew him best – his brothers, friends, mentors and costars – is amazing. Not everything said in the book is positive, but you really feel like you get a sense of who Chris was, and the things he was dealing with. At the end, I couldn’t help but tear up – I really felt for this good hearted, talented, loving man.
Definitely check this out, if you are looking for a good oral history. I am so glad that I read this book.
Thanks to Caitlin for sending me this book for review!!