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Christopher Crosby Farley was, in my opinion, one the comedic actor of all time. Unfortunately, his run atop the comedy movie world was short-lived–he’s mostly remembered for three incredible films with a few supporting roles coming before and some lesser-known movies coming after.
For those brief few years, Farley graced us with some of the most hilarious movies and some of the best characters to ever grace the silver screen.
Today, we’re going to go through all of Farley’s movie roles and rank them from best to worst. We’re not ranking the movies, but rather, we’re ranking the Chris Farley elements of the movie.
I love Airheads. If I were to rank the movies a whole, this would be higher on the list. But as a Chris Farley appearance, it’s pretty underwhelming. In fact, there’s a hint of comedy, but none of the over-the-top stuff we expect from Farley.
This scene is interesting if you look at it psychologically and with a real-world slant. Farley’s character walks into a conversation Wayne and Garth are having saying that he’s fine and that he feels great, but then he talks about how bad things are and how he wants to pick a fight. From what we know about Chris Farley’s psychological state, this actually seems to describe how he really felt. It’s a quick scene, but as always, Farley put his all into it and it’s entertaining (and a bit sad).
Chris Farley doesn’t say much in Coneheads, but that doesn’t stop him from being hilarious with his body language and slapstick comedy. It’s not a must-see appearance, and Coneheads is a terrible movie, so you’re probably best off just watching the YouTube clip above and seeing Farley in action.
7. Dirty Work
This movie holds a special place in my heart because it would be the last time we’d see Farley in a movie. His appearance is quite funny, though of course, I wish there was more of him. Still, the scene with him reconciling with the very same woman who turned him into the noseless friend of Mitch and Sam is hilarious, and the way he delivers his lines is as funny as it ever was.
Farley’s role is quick in Wayne’s World, but there’s just something about the contrast of what we know about the man and role he’s playing. Rather than some off-the-wall character, he’s a knowledgeable security guard who gives Wayne and Garth directions. In spite of it being such a small role, he still manages to give off enough visual humor to still make you laugh. It all comes to down to delivery, and as always, Farley had it locked in.
Of Chris Farley’s extremely short list of starring roles, Almost Heroes is definitely my least favorite. It just doesn’t have the same level of hilarity as the earlier movies. However, it’s still pretty funny and definitely worth watching if for nothing else than the fact that it’s his last staring role. Plus, you get to see him star alongside Matthew Perry, who would go on to play Chandler in Freinds.
When it comes to movies in which Chris Farley isn’t the star, few roles are as memorable as The Angry Bus Driver in Billy Madison. The way Farley and Adam Sandler are able to work together really makes you wonder what else they could have done together if Farley’s life wasn’t cut short. Between the scenes of him raging at a bus full of kids, to the infamous Veronica Vaughn scene, Chris Farley truly adds to an already amazing comedy in some incredible ways.
3. Black Sheep
And now we arrive at the first of the trifecta of Chris Farley’s staring roles. While I think Black Sheep is the worst of the three, that doesn’t make it bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s still a side-splitting comedy filled with all the shenanigans Chris Farley fans look for. If you think Chris Farley is a blabbering idiot in some of his other roles, you haven’t seen anything yet.
A lot of people might put Black Sheep higher than Beverly Hills Ninja, and while I can respect that position, the way Chris Farley is able to shine without David Spade as his supporting actor puts this ahead. Additionally, the pure ridiculous nature of the premise adds a bit to comedy—an obese white man thinks he’s a great ninja. It’s just as ludicrous as it sounds; maybe even more so.
1. Tommy Boy
Not only do I think that Tommy Boy is the greatest Chris Farley comedy ever made, but I also think it’s the single greatest comedy of all time. Period. Chris Farley and David Spade deliver pure comedy gold in every scene. Rob Lowe is the perfect villain as Tommy’s evil stepbrother. It’s almost impossible to find a flaw in Tommy Boy, and it serves as a grim reminder of the potential films Farley could have made if not for his untimely passing.
Always Remember Chris Farley
Chris Farley may have had a short life, and an even shorter career, but he left an indelible mark on the world through his films and his time on Saturday Night Live. Whenever you need a laugh, take a trip down memory lane with any of Chris Farley’s comedy and you’re guaranteed to finish with a smile.