Chris Farley

Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, from Paramount Pictures

Chris Farley was born February 15, 1964 and died December 18, 1997 at just 33.

One of the most explosively funny Saturday Night Live stars of the early ’90s, Farley was legendary for his commitment to characters and bits, happily diving through walls and coffee tables to sell a joke. His pairing with fellow SNL player David Spade in 1995’s Tommy Boy is pure bliss, and their reunion in the next year’s Black Sheep seemed to mark the solidifying of one of the funniest Gen X comic duos. Farley also evoked a chaotic sweetness in films like Wayne’s World and his solo starring vehicle Beverly Hills Ninja (1997). Still very much “on” even when he was off-screen, he was known for wild antics and pranks like interrupting SNL castmate Mike Myers in the shower.

Following in the footsteps of his idol, John Belushi, Farley gave everything to his art. But he also developed a drug habit like Belushi’s, and like his hero died of a drug overdose at 33.

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