The Chris Farley Show
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The Chris Farley Show was a sketch from the American comedy TV series Saturday Night Live, which involved comic actor Chris Farley, as a parody of himself, interviewing various celebrities. Rather than ask his guest questions that had any popular significance, or allow his guest to plug a current project, he would invariably act nervously, and simply describe scenes from a film in which the guest actor appeared (or occasionally films that had nothing to do with the guest). After asking the performer whether he remembered this particular event, Farley would relate, "That was awesome." Other times, he would ask questions that were of little relevance, or made no sense at all. Invariably, he would say something he regretted and would smack his head and call himself an idiot. The skit accentuated Farley's shyness for comic effect.
|Guest||Original Air Date|
|Jeff Daniels||October 5, 1991|
|Martin Scorsese||November 16, 1991|
|Paul McCartney||February 13, 1993|
Jeff Daniels was the first ever guest of The Chris Farley Show when it premiered on October 5, 1991. Daniels was appearing to promote his newest movie, The Butcher's Wife. Daniels gives mostly yes or no answers to Farley's questions regarding whether or not he remembers certain scenes of movies. The episode also features a question from a caller, who mimics Farley's "d'you remember" questions. Eventually, Farley and the caller ignore Jeff Daniels and reminisce about the previous episode, in which the same caller asked Arnold Schwarzenegger a question.
Chris Farley: Um… Hi, I’m Chris Farley and… this is the- this is the Chris Farley Show, and, uh… Tonight, our host is Jeff Daniels, one of the greatest actors [deep breathing] around, I guess. God, I hate doing this part, man. I never know what to say.
Jeff Daniels: No, you’re doing fine, Chris. It’s good.
Jeff: Yea! [Jeff slaps Chris on the arm reassuringly]
Jeff: Thanks, thank you.
Chris: D’you remember in Something Wild when Melanie Griffith had you handcuffed to the bed, ‘member that? And you had to make that phone call, remember? And you were chained to the thing and you couldn’t get away?
Jeff: Yea, yea I remember.
Chris: [gasping] That was awesome.
Chris: ‘Kay so you were, uh, also in The Purple Rose of Cairo.
Jeff: Yea, I was.
Chris: Remember when you were doing your movie and uh Mia Farrow was watching and you came down from the screen to talk to her and you were in black and white when you were on screen but then when you talked to her you were in color?
Jeff: …Yea, what about it?
Chris: Um… d’you remember that?
Jeff: Yes, yea.
Chris: That won some awards didn’t it?
Jeff: Uh, no. Not really.
Chris: [punches himself] God, what an idiot. Sorry… Now you’re doing another movie, what is that called?
Jeff: The Butcher’s Wife with Demi Moore
Chris: Oh yea, Demi Moore. She’s married to Bruce Willis, right?
Chris: Did… did you see Die Hard?
Jeff: Yea, yea I did.
Chris: [Excitedly] Remember when he has to cross all that broken glass without his shoes on, and there was nothing he could do about it so he just walked on the broken glass with his bare feet?
Chris: Did you like that?
Chris: Yea, I did too, it was awesome. Okay, we’re gonna open up the lines now if anyone wants to talk to Jeff Daniels… Okay, there’s someone on the line. Hello?
Caller: Yea, is Jeff Daniels there?
Chris: Yea, he’s right here, go ahead.
Caller: Um, Jeff, my name is Dawn and um… d’you remember that scene in Arachnophobia where you went into that barn and you found that big spider?
Caller: And you figured out why there were all these spiders everywhere?
Jeff: Uh, yes, I was in that scene. I remember.
Caller: Oh. Well, yea, it was great.
Jeff: [deadpan] Thank you.
Chris: You sound familiar, did you call in last week when Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the show?
Caller: Yea, that was me!
Chris: D’you remember when if you said if you remember when he said “I’ll be back” in both Terminators?
Chris: That was awesome! Well, thanks for calling!
Chris: Oh wait a minute, the stage guys waving at me. Oh! We’re out of time. [to Jeff] that’s what it means when he waves at me.
Chris: [to stagehand] ‘Member a couple weeks ago when we were doing the show and I didn’t see you waving?
Chris: Well, that’s it for this week’s show. Thank you to Jeff Daniels, um… one of the greatest actors of our time. Er… god I hate trying to end these things, I… suck at that, was that okay?
Jeff: No, no, you’re doing good, you did fine.
Martin Scorsese was the second ever guest on The Chris Farley Show. This sketch was originally aired on November 16, 1991. Martin Scorsese appeared to promote his film Cape Fear. The sketch follows the same format as the first. Chris Farley introduces himself, stumbles over his words, and eventually discusses action movies with his guest before taking a caller.
Chris Farley: Um, hi this is The Chris Farley Show and I’m Chris Farley and our guest tonight is Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese: Thank you, thank you.
Chris: One of the greatest directors of [stuttering] all time. Man, that sounds stupid!
Martin: No, Chris it sounds fine, it was fine.
Martin: No, it was fine, yea.
Chris: No it wasn’t. [to himself] Stupid, idiot! Sorry… Well anyway, Mr. Scorsese is the director of the best movies ever made. Um, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas which is completely awesome.
Martin: Thank you, thank you, thanks.
Chris: [panting] Remember that one scene in Goodfella’s where Ray Liotta says to Joe Pesci, “You’re a funny guy” and Joe Pesci goes, “I’m funny? How am I funny?” and Ray Liotta goes, “I mean you’re just funny.” And Joe Pesci gets really angry and goes, “Am I a clown to you? Am I here to make you laugh? How am I funny?”
Martin: Yea, no, sure, I remember.
Martin: Nikos Kazantzakis. It was a film about the dual nature of Christ.
Chris: You…you remember that one scene where Jesus goes into the temple and the money changers are there and Jesus starts punching ‘em out and he starts dumping over the tables and, and then he just loses it on that one guy?
Martin: Yes, uh, what about it?
Chris: Well… was that your idea?
Martin: No, that’s from the New Testament. It’s the bible.
Chris: Oh yea, right. [to himself] Idiot!
Martin: It’s alright, it’s understandable.
Chris: Well, um, we’re gonna open the phone lines pretty soon but I was wondering since you’re here, could I ask you something?
Martin: Sure, Chris, go ahead.
Chris: Well, um, remember that scene in Taxi Driver when De Niro’s looking in the mirror and he goes “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here so you must be talkin’ to me.” …Would you do that?
Martin: [hesitantly] You talkin’ to me… you talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here so you must be talkin’ to me.
Chris: [mouthing] Yea! Oh my god! Yea!
Martin: Thank you.
Chris: Okay we’re gonna open up the phone lines now so if you want to you can talk to Dr. Martin Scorsese. There’s someone on the line, hello?
Caller: Yea, is Martin Scorsese there?
Chris: Yea, he’s right here, go ahead!
Caller: Yea, uh, Martin? My name is Donna and, um, do you remember in that scene in Goodfellas where Ray Liotta says to Joe Pesci, “You’re a funny guy,” and Joe Pesci says, “What do you mean I’m funny?” and “Am I a clown to you? Do I amuse you?” Do you remember that?
Chris: Donna, don’t you remember when we just talked about that a few minutes ago? Don’t… don’t you remember that?
Caller: Oh, right, you did. Man, I’m an idiot! I can’t believe I did that!
Chris: Don’t worry about it, I do that all the time. Well thanks for calling. Um, we’re almost out of time but, um. You have a new movie out, uh, Cape Fear. Which has an awesome preview where the villain goes, “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
Martin: Yea, it’s Bob De Niro.
Chris: Right. De Niro’s awesome.
Martin: Yes he is.
Chris: Did you see Awakenings?
Chris: Remember that one scene where De Niro’s in a coma for all those years and then, um, Robin Williams is there when he wakes up.
Martin: Yes, did you like that film?
Chris: Well, I didn’t see it but my friends told me it was awesome… Well that’s it for this week’s show, thank you Mr. Scorsese, one of the greatest directors… was that okay?
Martin: That was fine, I think it went very well.
Chris: Okay I hope so. Okay that was the Chris Farley show, was that okay?
The third and final episode of The Chris Farley Show aired on February 13, 1993. McCartney was the musical guest. Possibly the best known of these sketches was his interview of Paul McCartney, where Farley acted awestruck and giddy in the former Beatle's presence, repeatedly asking ridiculous questions, typically starting with "Do you remember when you were in The Beatles?" or "That was a hoax, right?" in reference to rumors of McCartney's death, to which he gives one (or few) word answers. At one point, Farley arbitrarily asks the legendary songwriter, "Did you see Terminator?" This is the only episode of The Chris Farley Show without a guest caller.
Chris Farley: Um, hi. Welcome to The Chris Farley Show. I'm.. Chris Farley.. and, my guest tonight is.. one of the.. greatest musicians.. uh, rock musicians. I guess, songwriter, ever. [ Smacks himself ] GOD! That sounds stupid! God, I'm an idiot! I never know how to start these things!
Paul McCartney: You're doing great, Chris.
Chris: [ hopeful ] Really? No, I'm not. [ hyperventilating ] Anyway.. I guess.. I didn't have, have to say, who you were, because.. man, I mean.. everyone knows who you are. Mmm.. you're Paul McCartney.
Paul: Well, it's great to be here.
Chris: [ uncomfortable ] You.. you.. you remember when you were with The Beatles?
Paul: Yeah, sure.
Chris: That was awesome!
Paul: Yeah, it was.
Chris: O-kay.. Oh! You.. you remember when you went to Japan.. and, uh, and at the airport they arrested you 'cause you had some pot, and.. it made all the papers, and everything..?
Paul: Well, to be honest, Chris, I'd kind of like to forget all of that.
Chris: [ smacks himself harder ] IDIOT!! That's so stupid! What a dumb question!!
Paul: No, no, no, Chris. I get asked that all the time in interviews. Maria Shriver asked the same question last week.
Chris: Really? [ pause ] Did you know that she's married to Arnold Schwartzenegger?
Paul: Yeah. I've heard that.
Chris: Did you see "Terminator"?
Paul: No, I missed that one.
Chris: That was a pretty awesome flick. [ pause ] O-kay.. remember.. you remember when you were with The Beatles, and you were supposed to be dead, and, uh, there was all these clues, that, like, uh, you played some song backwards, and it'd say, like, "Paul Is Dead", and, uh, everyone thought that you were dead? That was, um, a hoax, right?
Paul: Yeah. I wasn't really dead.
Chris: Right. I think we.. I think we got time for one more question. Uh.. remember when you were in The Beatles? And, um, you did that album Abbey Road, and at the very end of the song, it would.. the song goes, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make"? You.. you remember that?
Chris: Uh.. is that true?
Paul: Yes, Chris. In my experience, it is. I find, the more you give, the more you get.
Chris: [ ecstatic, starts to point at Paul and mouth "AWESOME!" ] Well, that's it for this week's show. Thank you, Paul McCartney, thank you, for being one of the greatest.. of rock.. I mean, a living legend. And uh, a legend of rock and roll.. and.. just thanks for being on the show, and.. [ smacks himself even harder ] GOD DANGIT! That sounded stupid! I knew I'd screw up!
Paul: You did fine, you did fine, Chris.
Chris: Really? Thanks, man. Thanks. Thank you. [ Outro music comes on, Chris continues to talk to Paul ] Remember.. remember when I was talking to you about "The Terminator"? You.. you should see that movie, it's pretty cool..
[ Paul nods his head ]
Many of Chris Farley's performances on Saturday Night Live, especially the ones that made him famous (Matt Foley, Todd O'Connor of Bill Swerski's Superfans, Bennett Brauer, and one of the Gap Girls) were riddled with jokes at Farley's expense. In many cases, Chris Farley was the joke rather than the comedian. Members of the Saturday Night Live cast and crew, and friends of Farley believe that this berating of Chris Farley, combined with his compulsive need to be loved, led to his recurring troubles with drugs, alcohol, and overeating. Chris Rock, fellow SNL cast member, says of the infamous "Chippendale's" sketch, "Chippendale’s was a weird sketch. I always hated it… The joke of it is, basically, ‘We can’t hire you because you’re fat.’ There’s no comic twist to it. It’s just fucking mean. Chris wanted so much to be liked. As funny as that sketch was… it’s one of the things that killed him."
A biographical novel named after the sketch, The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts was released on May 6, 2008 and was co-written by Tom Farley, Jr. (Chris Farley's brother) and Tanner Colby. It features anecdotes by his friends and family. The novel was named Amazon Best of the Month by Amazon.com in May, 2008. Coauthor Tanner Colby is also credited with co-writing John Belushi's biography, Belushi: A Biography. Farley was notorious for following in the footsteps of Belushi, both dying at age 33 from drug-related heart attacks.
- Chris Farley Show transcript - Paul McCartney interview
- Official Website for A Biography in Three Acts
- Martin Scorsese video clip
- Jeff Daniels video clip
- Paul McCartney video clip
- Chris Rock interview