Kevin Farley approves of new documentary 'I am Chris Farley'

Photo Credit: © Levine Davidson Film and Production
July 28th, 2015

The entire world fell in love with Chris Farley in the early '90s and his legacy will live on in TV and cinema history for a very long time. In some instances, the tragedy of his death has been talked about more than the joy he brought into the world. Kevin Farley and a handful of Chris’s closest friends speak out in the new documentary, I am Chris Farley, about what a brilliant performer he was and more importantly, what a wonderful person he was. Kevin was gracious enough to talk with us here at and share his feelings on the new documentary.

Nick Leyland from Kevin, the documentary is fantastic, what'd you think about it?

Kevin Farley: Did you watch it, Nick?

TMN: Oh yeah, I watched it.

Kevin Farley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm very happy with it. I'm... It's kind of the way I wanted it to be done and... So, I'm really happy with what Derek (Murray) and Brent (Hodge) did. I think Brent did a great job, and I'm happy with the results for sure.

TMN: Were you a little apprehensive before making it?

Kevin Farley: Yeah. I mean, when those guys approached me, we had talked about the fact that Chris has sort of reached legendary status even in comedy today, and he's still talked about today amongst people. And so, the documentary idea came up and I said, "The only way I'm gonna do this is," if we focus on his work and his comedy legacy because so much has been printed about all the other salacious stuff, that not enough has been printed about his work and the legacy that he left behind. So, I wanted to do a documentary that focused primarily on that.

 © Levine Davidson Film and Production

(Kevin Farley in Boy Toy)

TMN: There was also another documentary that just came out about Amy Winehouse, where the family was not happy about it.

Kevin Farley: Well, that's why I think a lot... There's been a lot of documentaries about Chris that are unauthorized by our family, and I'm not really happy about it. It kind of painted my family into some sort of a gangster type situation, I don't know, but you don't have access to what really went on. It's kind of an unauthorized thing, and they're just pulling snippets from articles that were written or whatever, but it does kind of disappoint me. I mean, there's five or six documentaries about Chris that are just focused on what a partier he was and that kind of thing. And I just think that this is a documentary that's focused on his work, and really, who he was, really, the real person.

TMN: I'm glad to hear that it's well liked by the family and stuff. Like you said, the unauthorized ones, this is the one that people should be watching.

Kevin Farley: Well, I think what it is is, none of us lives forever, and we leave an impact, and I think the impact you leave is how you make people feel. And regardless of the demons that you struggle with and everybody has 'em, Christopher, when he walked into a room, made an impact. And when he walked out of a room, you go, "Hey, that guy was incredible." And that's what lasts, I think that's what's forever. The other stuff people wanna talk about, let 'em talk about it. But what lasts forever is how you made people feel, and Chris made people feel incredible; he made them laugh, and he made you laugh. So, that's the thing that lasts forever, and that's his legacy, so I wanted to do a documentary about that.

TMN: I think what's really gonna be powerful about this documentary is, not only is it going to affect people like myself, who watched all these skits and movies years ago, but I think it's gonna open up a whole new generation to Chris Farley.

Kevin Farley: I think the younger kids, yeah, I think what I wanted to do is, is if you want to do comedy and if you wanna do improv or you wanna do any kind of creative thing, the one thing you can take away from this is, he gave 100% every time he stepped on stage. And I think that's the reason I got so many great people to come out for this documentary, is they recognize that. And I think the younger kids coming up will recognize that also. Just his commitment to character, his commitment to acting, his commitment to his craft, I think the young people coming  up and that wanna pursue the arts, will see that, and see like, "Well, that guy really went for it and really committed."

TMN: One thing I appreciated about it is that it was such a innocent kind of humor, and it was just beautifully done, and like you said, he didn't have to take any cheap-shots or anything.

Vivendi Entertainment

(Kevin Farley in American Carol)

Kevin Farley: Yeah, he never really liked the kind of humor that was salacious or some kind of like cheap joke or cheap angle. He never went for the cheap angle. When he fell on a table, he fell face first, and he never broke his fall, you know? I mean, that's the style of comedy. He went for it and he never went for the cheap joke. It was very innocent comedy turned up to the volume 11.


Kevin Farley: That's the kinda guy he was.

TMN: Do you remember the first time that you saw him on TV?

Kevin Farley: Yes, I do. Well, we got the call that he made Saturday Night Live. And I remember thinking, "Our little family is not gonna be the same."


Kevin Farley: And I remember thinking, "This is gonna be different from now on," because I knew once Saturday Night Live got a hold of him, he's not gonna be one of those flash-in-the-pan guys that go on SNL and then disappear. I said, "Well, no, if you put that guy on TV, it's gonna be amazing."


Kevin Farley: I think it was a sketch with Kyle MacLachlan, and it was a spoof on Twin Peaks, which is a David Lynch TV series back then. And I was sitting there with my parents in Madison, and just to see him come on, I think he had one line in the whole thing and he made the most of that one line.


Kevin Farley: I said, "Well... Look out Saturday Night Live." I don't think they're gonna know what to do with that guy.


TMN: Was he always like that growing up?

Kevin Farley: There's a song in the documentary that Mike Reilly wrote called 'Born On Fire'. And it sort of sums up, like Christopher came into the world. That kid was born on fire. He just... He made an impact right away in every aspect to the word, every party that we went to, every family gathering, he had to be the center of attention.


Kevin Farley: And so, he was always performing for the family; we loved it. God, we loved it. It was like having our own little wind-up toy.


TMN: Do you think you guys all acquired the same sense of humor from the same source?

Kevin Farley: Well, yeah, our sense of humor obviously stems from my mom and dad. Dad was kind of analytical and just sort of... He can be silly at times. He was very analytical and very... Work ethic was pretty good. But my mom was just plain silly; she loved silliness. So, that was the time... That was the dynamic. They were both very silly. They both thought humor was very important in dealing with life. Life problems come up, I think you have to... My dad and mom said "If you don't develop a good sense of humor about life, then you're gonna have a lot of difficulties". So, humor was enforced in our house.

TMN: Little did they know, huh?


Kevin Farley: Little did they know that one guy would be... Would take it all the way to the Saturday Night Live.

TMN: You know what I enjoyed about the documentary as well is I enjoyed your stand up performance throughout the film.

Kevin Farley: Yeah, I think when I did the documentary, it's kind of my homage to Chris because when I went down to Second City and I was working for my dad's asphalt firm and I thought, "Well, I kind of want to do comedy too" and he inspired me to do that. So, when I went down to Second City and saw him perform I go, "Well, I'm gonna do that for the rest of my life." So, I've been doing stand up now for a long time and this documentary is kind of my homage to my bro.

TMN: What do you want people to take away from the documentary?

Kevin Farley: I think just an extraordinary talent and that an extraordinary... Christopher had extraordinary commitment to character and commitment to talent... Commitment to his craft. And he loved what he did, he loved his family, he loved his friends and I think the way he approached show business was very pure and innocent and people really appreciated it. I think that's also the way he approached life, too. He was just one unique cat that I don't think I've ever met anyone that has ever been quite like him. And I know, I'm his brother, but even in comedy, I don't think anyone has been like him since that. I mean, you can compare him, but nobody really rises to the level of who he was. He was a unique person, a unique talent. It still lives today.

TMN: What do you think is your fondest memory or one of your fondest memories of Chris?

Kevin Farley: I think just, Christopher and I, we went to Marquette together, we played rugby together, we did everything together. He and I were about a year apart, so I just think... He was kind of my older brother, mentor kind of thing. His presence is and always will be a big hole in my life, and I just miss him being here. That's all. His presence. His presence was so enormous to so many people, but it was twice as enormous to me. So yeah, I just miss him being here. I wish he was here.

TMN: Me too.

Kevin Farley: I hope that people enjoy the documentary and that's it.