Preston & Steve®

Any fan of good comedy remembers Chris Farley whenever hearing the iconic phrase “When you’re living in a van down by the river.” The former Saturday Night Live star mastered physical comedy as well as any actor in history.

He died tragically at age 33 on December 18, 1997. His legacy as a comedian carries on, however.

Chris Farley

After his popularity skyrocketed on Saturday Night Live, Farley landed himself some lead roles in feature films. Fans already loved the excellent motivational speeches from Matt Foley and the beloved “Lunch Lady” songs. They got to see new characters in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.

Who could forget the days at Callahan Auto Parts or the election that Mike Donnelly saved? Farley certainly wasn’t afraid to celebrate his own figure when he got changed in an airplane bathroom and ruined a night’s sleep for David Spade in an obscure cabin. Fans even had the pleasure of a lesser-known ninja that shouldn’t get lost among his most popular roles.

Career Legacy

Chris Farley teamed up with David Spade for one of the best comedy duos of the 1990s. The two Saturday Night Live stars became a package deal, especially as movie main characters.

Adam Sandler also formed great chemistry with Farley in some of the best SNL skits of all time. Even the two surviving comedy legends aren’t the same without Chris Farley.

His friends still carry on his legacy, but the world of comedy certainly misses the portly figure of a legendary physical comedian. The best roles of his career persist in loving memory.


  • Movies

  • Tommy Boy: Tommy Callahan

    “Yeah, right, like it was some other real fat guy with a tiny head.”
    “I have a tiny head?”

    Tommy Boy was Chris Farley’s best feature-length movie, and he nailed the role of Tommy Callahan. He kept the outrageous physical comedy but added a good touch of a feel-good story about a loveable loser who saves the day for his hometown. There are countless inconic moments in Tommy Boy. Nothing sums up Chris Farley like “fat guy in little coat” though.

  • Black Sheep: Mike Donnelly

    “Vote for Donnelly!…every vote counts.”

    This is why he was the king of physical comedy. Black Sheep didn’t bring you much of a plot that you didn’t get from Tommy Boy one year earlier, but it was great to see Chris Farley and David Spade with the same hilarious dynamic.

  • Beverly Hills Ninja: Haru

    “Do not be fooled by the color of my skin. Have you not heard of the legend of the white child who’ll grow up to become the greatest ninja master of all time? Some say it is so.”

    Haru from Beverly Hills Ninja was one of the more outrageous characters Chris Farley ever played. That’s saying something. Behind the goofy exterior, Haru was just a motivated guy looking to achieve greatness.

  • Coneheads: Ronnie

    “I’ve never dated a girl taller than me before.”

    Chris Farley could always pull off a ridiculous premise. However, it was Dan Aykroyd who took care of most of the outrageous comedy in Coneheads.

  • Billy Madison: The Bus Driver

    “Sorry about that. Damn guy drives like an animal.”

    Fans think of David Spade as the top sidekick, but Chris Farley and Adam Sandler had their fair share of classics too. Billy Madison wouldn’t have been the same without a minor yet unforgettable supporting role from Chris Farley.

    “I’ll turn this damn bus around. That’ll end your precious little field trip pretty damn quick.”

  • Saturday Night Live

  • Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker

    It was funny. It was motivational. It was Matt Foley’s speech to Christina Applegate and David Spade about how to avoid living in a van down by the river.

    “From what I’ve heard, you’re using your paper not for writing but for ROLLING DOOBIES.”

  • The Lunch Lady

    “I’m not talking about the teachers. I’m not talking about the coaches. I’m not even talking about the guidance counselors. I’m talking about a person we call the lunch lady.”

    Chris Farley wore the kitchen clothes well.

  • Zagat’s Restaurant Guide: Beverly Gelfand

    “Find Southern fare at Charlie’s. There’s fried chicken and first-rate service, so come on down y’all. Ya hear?”

    Who knows how Hank and Beverly Gelfand landed the chance to review New York restaurants? Adam Sandler’s character certainly didn’t seem into it.

  • Chippendale’s: Barney

    “They’re both so great. I can’t decide between them.”

    Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley were both great looking men, and their characters were both a perfect fit for Chippendale’s. It was always going to come down to the dancing.

  • Schmitt’s Gay

    “You two look like you need to get wet.”

    It didn’t fit the profile of the typical beer commercial set by a pool. Chris Farley and Adam Sandler got their wish as housesitters though. As Psyche pointed out in 2021, the skit was ahead of its time in many ways in a different era of comedy.

    “Rather than direct the audience to laugh at Sandler and Farley’s gayness, the sketch served to make the predominantly straight audience laugh at what the typical horny beer commercials would look like with scantily clad men instead of women.”

  • Bill Swerski's Superfans (Da Bears): Todd O'Connor

    “That’s right. Our boys were overseas.”

    The Chicago Bears aren’t as successful as they were under Mike Ditka. Saying “Da Bears” will never go out of style though.

  • The Herlihy Boy House Sitting Service

    “Sweet Mother of God. What is the holdup? Let the boy sleep in your damn bed. He said he’d wash the sheets.”

    It was originally just an Adam Sandler skit. It just could’ve never landed the same way without the Chris Farley entrance though. Come on. Let the boy water your plants. 

  • Bennett Brauer

    How long do you think Bennett Brauer could’ve kept going talking about things that he does NOT do? It’s a wonder why he kept looking for a job.

    “I’m not ‘likeable.’ I don’t ‘get along with people.’”

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