“Dear Lord, as I stumble through this life help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me become so blase that I fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or a twinkle in the eyes of the aged. “Never let me forget my work is to cheer people, make them happy, make them laugh, make them forget at least for a moment the unpleasantness in their life. Never let me acquire success to the point that I discontinue calling on my Creator in the hour of need, acknowledging and thanking Him in the hour of plenty. And in my final moment may I hear You whisper, ‘When you made my people smile, you made Me smile.” This prayer was named The Clowns Prayer which was given at Chris Farleys funeral by a close relation. Before this speech is over, you will know about the early years of Chris Farleys life and how he became such an astonishing actor. Secondly, you will be informed on some of his greatest achievements. Finally, his addiction to drugs and how it led to his sorrowful death.
II. First I would like to tell you a little bit about Chriss early years and how he hit it big.
A. He was born on February 15, 1964 to Tom and Mary Ann Farley in Madison,
1.He has three brothers named Kevin, John, Tom, and a sister named Barbara.
2. He was a hit at home along with making others laugh at summer camp and also
Madisons Edgewood High School.
3. He graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Communications and
4. Chris then went on to work alongside his Dad at Madison Scotch Oil Company.
B. Chris started his acting career with a group called the Ark Improv Theatre group.
1. There he studied under legendary director Del Close at the Improv Olympic Theatre.
2. Other actors that studied under Close were John Belushi and John Candy.
3. After the Ark Improv Theatre, Chris went on to study at Chicagos Second City Theatre where he was discovered by Saturday Night Lives producer Lorne Micheals and was brought on to the cast in the 1990-91 season.
III. Secondly, I would like to tell you some about the next steps in Chris Farleys life where he became a member of the hilarious late night show Saturday Night Live and later went on to the big screen.
A. Chris became a favorite of the American people very quickly with his most popular roles such as:
1. Himself as the host of The Chris Farley Show.
2. An over-zealous Chippendales dancer along side heart throb, Patrick Swayze.
3. A thrice-divorced motivational speaker that lives in a van down by the river.
B. Though still making people laugh on Saturday Night Live, Chris finally started his movie career.
1. In 1992, Chris starred briefly as a security guard in Waynes World.
2. He also starred briefly in other movies such as Waynes World 2 (1993), Coneheads (1993), Airheads (1994), and Billy Madison in 1995 where he received little pay for his presence.
3. He then left Saturday Night Live in the 1994-95 season along with a few other popular cast members to work on his movie career.
4. His first major film was Tommy Boy (1995) which he starred along side past S.N.L member and long time friend David Spade. Farley grossed around 10 million for this film. This movie was quickly considered a classic among the many fans so the duo decided to launch another great movie, Black Sheep (1996).
5. He then went solo in his next film, Beverly Hills Ninja (1996), where he grossed his second largest paycheck of approximately 6 million dollars.
6. After Beverly Hills Ninja, Chris went on to star briefly in Dirty Work (1998) and also played a role along side Friends superstar, Matthew Perry in Almost Heroes (1998). Farleys career, and his life, sudden came to a halt due to his long time drug addiction.
IV. Finally, on December 18, 1997, Christopher Crosby Farley was pronounced dead in his
Chicago apartment due to an overdose of heroin and opium.
A. Chris, much like his mentor John Belushi, had a weight and drug problem.
1. Chris stood at 5 feet 9 inches. His Father was estimated to weigh around 600
Pounds so you can see where he got his weight. Though he got laughed at many times because of his weight, he used this problem to help humor the audience.
2. Though he was a very loving and emotional man, his emotions mixed with the laughs made him get caught up in drugs.
3. His good friends tried to help him by sending him to weight loss programs and also drug rehabilitation centers. This worked for awhile but each time he got back on his feet, the problems started over again.
4. Because of this, the life of a great man and legend in my eyes, came to an end at
the young age of 33, just like his idol John Belushi.
Many people believe that the life of a celebrity is nothing but fame and fortune. Chris Farley was at the top of his profession ever since he was young, while he was on the infamous late night show Saturday Night Live, and also in the limelight on the big screen. His struggles with weight and drugs finally got the best of him. I believe that people should remember Chris as being the king of comedy another celebrity that had a drug addiction. David Spade said it best in a 1998 issue of Rolling Stone, I would just like people to remember Chris as a guy who tried to make everyone happy in a world that’s so hard and cruel. And, in a way, trying to make everyone happy cost him his life, because he did everything for everybody else and not for himself. Chris tried so hard to get everyone to like him. Meanwhile, the truth was that everyone already liked him too much.