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In A Van Down By The River

by gwolinetz on April 22nd, 2008

When I was younger and much more fun than I am today, I was an SNL junkie. That’s partly because I relished the opportunity to stay up later than I was generally allowed, but also because Comedy Central played the repeats like six times a day.* My favorite cast was always the 1989-90 cast, right before Spade, Farley, Sandler, Schneider and Rock joined. That probably sounds crazy, but if you go back and watch these episodes, there’s nothing better than them. The cast was just tight. They had been together with basically no changes for 3 seasons. They worked well together and every episode was a winner. Check it out here.

*Incidentally, thanks, E!, for ruining one of the greatest things about TV: the SNL rerun. It used to be the one thing on TV that you could always count on for a laugh or watch when there was nothing else on. The played them for a while (even showing some of the old 1970s episodes a few years back with the original cast that hadn’t been seen on TV for years.

Now, E! never runs them anymore, and when they do (Saturday nights at 10pm and 1am), they play the newer, crappier episodes featuring some idiot (read: Hilton, Paris) and 15 horrible sketches. Can something be done about this? Can we file a class action suit or something? Can someone tell me when this contract is over, so we can get these back on the air?

But if I was making a list of my all-time favorite cast members, Chris Farley would have to be near the top of the list. I’m a huge fan of physical comedy, when it’s done right, and for my money, you can’t do much better than Chris Farley. The guy was a genius. His death was both shocking (because he was just 33), but also not (in light of his addiction issues and because people like him just always seem to die young). It just seemed like something was chipping away at all the things that I loved when I was a teen: Kurt Cobain shoots himself, Chris Farley dies of an overdose,

And now, a book about Farley, and one that doesn’t paint him (or the people around him) too well, is about to hit the shelves. According to this article in the Daily News, the book portrays Farley as a really troubled, lonely guy who constantly sought the approval and attention of those around him. And as he spiraled deeper into his own shame and fell prey to his demons, the people that supposedly cared about him most did nothing to help him out.

There are a lot of interesting quotes, but the Lorne Michaels’ ones stand out as really telling:

“As soon as I heard it was heroin, I was having none of it. I had been through it with John and I wasn’t doing it again.”

Damn, help a brother out, Lorne. Chris Farley made Lorne Michaels a lot of money, whether he’s ready to admit that or not. I don’t know what went on between them and I don’t know if Michaels tried to do anything. But it sure seems like he cut the cord. And it sure seems like that didn’t do the good that Michaels thought it might.

[Tip of the cap, Defamer]

From → Chris Farley, Defamer, SNL

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