Chris Farley

  1. Ken Hudson Campbell, Home Alone, 1990.  For the role of Santa Claus, Farley was seen – but not hired.  Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels called him “the son that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi never had.”
  2. Liev Schreiber, Mixed Nuts, 1994.  Chris backed off. In possible agreement with  Chicago  critic Riger Ebert’s thinking.  Too many nuts. “As a general rule, normal people are funnier than zany people.” Schreiber didn’t care. He’d finally scored his first movie!
  3. Jim Carrey, The Cable Guy, 1995.   Written for the 134 kilos Farley, who had to had to pass up his biggest pay-cheque of $3m to complete Paramont’s insistence on a second movie with his 1994 Tommy Boy co-star (and pal), David Spade. Director Ben Stiller took over as the titular nut-case until finding he couldn’t act and direct at the same time. (Nor even separately, if truth be told). Adam Sandler was suggested; inexplicably, as usual. Then, Carrey accepted a record $20m, for what he termed Rosemary’s Baby meets The Odd Couple. More like a stalker send-up riff on What About Bob? and The Kig of Comedy. Critic   Roger Ebert said a movie which made us dislike Carrey is a mistake.
  4. W Earl Brown, There’s Something About Mary, 1997.  Farley’s credo was: “I want to live fast and die young.” Well, he did that, the silly bugger… ODing on coke at age 33. He had been booked for Mary’s retarded brother Warren in another (better) Ben Stiller movie. “Basically, I only play one character; I just play him at different volumes.” He dreamt of filming two novels, A Confederacy of Dunce The Incomparable Atuk, and playing Fatty Arbuckle – like his fellow fatties, Johns Belushi and Candy, before him. Farley went one further, wanting a Herman Goering biopic.

  5. Trey Parker, BASEketball, 1997.  When big Chris passed, Joe Copper was offered to Trey Parker or his writing partner Matt Stone. They rewrote the script to suit their styles. Trey became Joe and Matt was Doug.  They were convinced that their toon series, South Park, would be axed by then. It was not….  
  6. Matt Stone, BASEetball, 1998. … and so began their sleepless period… By day, they filmed the derp baeball-meets basketball game invented by their  director David Zucker to play with his mates in his driveway. By night, they’d produce, edit and call up potewntial guest stars for the adventures of Randy and Co…. still alive as I write this in December 2020.

  7. Artie Lange, Lost & Found, 1998. He had also been due for a third partnerhip with his friend, David Spade (and a fourth, Grown Ups). Lange, naturally, was another heap big fella – who had more success in kicking his drug habit. His message became: “Don’t do drugs to be cool, do ’em because you hate yourself.”
  8. Chris Tucker, Rush Hour, 1998.     The spec script by novelist Ross LaManna in 1995 was first aimed at two black cops, Martin Lawrence – and stand-up Dave Chappelle as Detective James Carter. Then black and white with Lawrence and Farley (who ODed at 33 in 1997). Next Carters included Eddie Murphy, Tupac Shakur (murdered at 25 in 1996) and Will Smith. Disney hated director Brett Ratner’s final Asian/black duo – Jackie Chan, Chris Rock – and the $33m project moved to New Line. And global glory: $244, 386, 864. Plus sequels for a total of $849,734,899. Sorry about that, Disney.
  9. Joan Plowright, Dinosaur, 1999.     After his death, Farley’s afraid-of-heights brachiosaurus called Sorbus was spiun into Baylene, a much older female of the species – and voiced by none other than the widow of Lord Laurence Olivier.
  10. Adam Sandler, Big Daddy, 1999.Chris Farley  sadly ODed months before he was due for what was then Guy Gets Kid.His Sonny was a lazy toolbooth attendant “adopting” a five-year-old boy (played by twins) to impress his girlfriend. And so Sandler collected a hefty cut of the $235m box-office. I still can’t see why. We’ve seen such bonding comedy before: Chaplin’s The Kid, Shirley Temple’s Little Miss Marker, Jim Belushi’s Curly Sue, evenTakeshi Kitano’s Japanese Kikujiro the previous year and, Hugh Grant’s About a Boyto come in 2001 Yawn!  No wonder Bill Murray and Jack Nicholson fled.
  11. Mike Myers, Shrek, 2000. Chosen to voice the jolly green giant, Farley had recorded everything. However, following his demise, and for reasons I’ve never heard explained (apart from Disney thinking sequels), Shrek was re-voiced (twice) by another Saturday Night Liver.

  12. Kevin James, Grown Ups, 2009.   And yet another one he never made… Adam Sandlert’s script, offer and deal dated back to the early ’90s but Sandler couldn’t face it until a decade after December 18, 1997. Farley’s role was Eric Lamansoff, a regular character name in Sandler movies: The Wedding Singer, Click, Pixels and the inevtable, Grown Ups 2.
  13. Ed Helms, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, 2016.   When first planned as a live-action send-up-up, lng after the first book was published in 1997, author Dav Pilkey wanted Farley in the titular pants Now the school principal hypnotised into believing he’s a hero – a ridiculous, enthusiastic dimwit, but a hero all the same – is voiced by Helms in Dreamworks’ first superhero toon since Megamind, 2009.


 Birth year: 1964Death year: 1997Other name: Casting Calls:  13