Chris Farley was an exceptionally talented comedian who never failed to make the audience laugh so much that they cried. He was a brilliant addition to the beloved comedy-sketch show, saturday night live, and starred in several hilarious comedies on the big screen.
Sadly, Farley struggled with emotional and mental health issues, which led him to overeating and drug use. These coping mechanisms eventually led to Farley’s death at the young age of 33.
He died on December 18, 1997, after taking a cocaine and morphine overdose at his apartment. Apart from being extremely talented, the star was a loving, kind, caring person and his family, friends, co-stars and fans still miss him dearly.
Farley’s ‘SNL’ co-star deeply saddened by his passing
Adam McKay worked closely with Farley during his time as a lead writer. saturday night live. He remembers the last time Farley hosted SNLAbout two months before his death. Talking about Farley’s final weeks, McKay said:
” He [Farley] was clearly really struggling, but he was so sweet, he still had such a big, loving, eager-to-please heart… who was in a lot of pain and was trying desperately to deal with it.”
McKay also recalled how sad it was to see someone who brought so much joy to others be so sad on the inside. “Everyone was like that, we lost someone who was giving us a ton of joy, and he should have been happy.” other SNL Cast members watched Farley’s struggle throughout the years, and many tried to help the young star.
SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels was particularly close to Farley, and enlisted the help of another well-known comedian to try and help. Shortly after Farley played Tom Arnold in a sketch, Michaels reached out to Arnold. USA Today Quoting Arnold’s recent interview with Howard Stern:
“Lorne Michaels called me and he said, ‘You have a lot in common with Chris Farley. Would you please spend time with him?’
Arnold eventually became Farley’s sponsor, and the two developed a close friendship. Arnold admired Farley’s incredible sense of humor, and wanted to help the comedian live the happy life he deserved. He tried the tough love approach with Farley, telling him:
“You can’t be fat and don’t do drugs. You can’t be that fat. You have to choose one, and I speak from experience. You choose one. You can’t do everything.”
Fear and insecurity were behind Chris Farley’s laughter
By the time Chris Farley became famous for the laughs he gave to audiences around the world, he had gone through a difficult childhood and adolescence. He was bullied as a child and teenager, which led him to use comedy as a shield.
Before anyone else could kill him, he started making fun of himself for being overweight. Ironically, that defense mechanism exposed his incredible talent as a comedian. As Farley got older, he turned to drugs to deal with his fears.
Even after becoming a successful comedian and actor, Farley’s fears and insecurities never went away. According to silver lining recovery, he feared that losing weight would reduce his mockery in the eyes of the audience. He was afraid of failure and didn’t want to change anything if it ruined his career.
Farley was also very lonely and feared that he would never find someone he wanted to settle down with and share his life with. He reportedly used to eat as well as addicts to cocaine, heroin and alcohol among other intoxicants. He attempted to get help from recovery programs, but he always backed out after participating.
In the last two years of his life, he was in and out of 17 different rehab programs. Only while he was working would he be able to manage to stay clean consistently. The studio would require attendance at AA meetings and they kept a close eye on him while he was under contract.
Unfortunately, he was still struggling with his mental health and would start again after the completion of his current project.
In the ‘old days’, stars were often glorified when they died of overdoses
In a recent interview GQIn this article, Jonah Hill and Adam McKay discuss a notable difference between the death of Chris Farley and the death of comedians decades earlier. He touched upon the common misconception that to be a good artist (of any kind) you have to be dark and anxious inside.
That misconception was synonymous with untimely deaths, such as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Belushi, etc. Hill recalled hearing about Belushi’s death when he was a kid, and how it was romanticized, “Yeah, man, that was punk rock and he died of heroin.”
When Hill was older and Chris Farley died, it was not viewed that way. “I lost Chris Farley when I was 13 or 14, and s- wasn’t sexy or romantic. It was just sad. I cried AF—— for weeks when Chris Farley died.
How to get help: in the US, contact Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
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