Fifteen years ago today (December 18), the world grew a bit dimmer. Chris Farley, acclaimed comedian and actor, was found dead in his apartment on this date back in 1997. Some of you may remember Farley for his work in Tommy Boy or Black Sheep, while others will recall his many roles on Saturday Night Live, but regardless – we all share in the memory of how his comedic efforts made our lives a bit better.
We originally had not planned to run anything marking today, but as we began talking about our fond memories of either watching or reenacting Farley’s work it became clear that something more momentous was needed. So, without further ado, allow us to present you with fifteen essential Chris Farley skits. Click through the jump to laugh, cry, and remember one of the funniest people to ever walk the planet.
#15 Chris Farley runs into Will Smith
If I say anything more than the title, I’ll give away too much. Enjoy one of the greatest one-liners in SNL history.
#14 Tropical storm El Nino
Long before Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, the United States was hit every five years by tropical patterns called El Nino.
Chris Farley IS El Nino.
#13 Chris Farley’s cameo in Wayne’s World
Farley only has a cameo in Wayne’s World (as opposed to his co-starring role in the sequel). Wayne and Garth even make note of how interesting it is that this security guard knows so much.
#12 Chris Farley has no place else to go in Wayne’s World 2
He actually has a legitimate role in this movie.
In another great scene earlier in the movie, someone asks how he’s doing, and he says “I feel great! I hate my Dad, and I hate my life… but I feel great!
…I’m gonna go pick a fight.”
This is Chris Farley and Mike Myers at their best.
#11 Chris Farley is too sexy for his clothes
I think the title says it all on this one.
#10 Paul McCartney on the Chris Farley show
This clip is from rehearsal as most SNL sketches have been taken down. You can hear the crew laugh. It’s hilarious even if you’ve already heard it before. Chris’ lack of confidence creates the most awkward, interesting pseudo-interviews around.
#9 Need advice on how to pick up girls? Tom Arnold and Chris Farley are here to help.
Never has an extremely overweight man wearing a button up plaid shirt been so attractive. Chris Farley giving dating advice is great, just like metaphors are at describing stuff.
#8 Can I have some French Fries?
The Kids In The Hall may have been the masters of man-in-drag comedy, but Chris Farley perfected it in his outing. The fact that his weight plays into the joke is all the more entertaining.
#7 Billy Madison studying
If only all studying could be so graciously rewarded.
#6 I says to the guy…
Most people don’t realize that this became a legitimate phrase in culture for a few years. People said it before this, but it became a thing because of how funny it was when Farley did it.
#5 Newt Gingrich is cheating on his wife
Some political comedy gets dated very quickly. Others, you don’t even have to remember the politicians to appreciate the imitation. Chris Farley as Newt is one of the most interesting imitations, with Chris not really looking like Newt, but throwing the punches in a timeless way that will probably live long on after Newt’s (still continuing) time in office.
#4 Kill Whitey
White race jokes are rare, but sometimes they’re brilliant. Chris Farley rocks the vote after smoking up with some reggae musicians, and hilarious chaos ensues.
#3 The Superfans.
The Superfans were Chicago sports fans, always rooting for Da Bears and Da Bulls. In the following two clips, Chris Farley dominates the show with his inner monologue and his physical acting.
#2 I LIVE IN A VAN… DOWN BY THE RIVER!
When people imitate Farley, this is their go to cue. It’s because of how distinctive the character is, and how ridiculous he says everything. “Matt Foley” is trying to help the kids stay motivated. David Spade plays a bored, unmotivated teenager, and you can watch him fight off laughs throughout the sketch Jimmy Fallon style (only, when David fights laughs, it’s because it just is that funny).
#1 Chris Farley is a Chippendale dancer
The original will never last online, although timelessly stripping to the cowbell of Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend” is forever in our hearts.
I think it’s safe to say no one would look at this in 15 years and think both died too young. It’s heart breaking in a way.