When Chris Farely suddenly died in 1997, there was still so much the young actor had yet to achieve. Had this not happened, just how popular would he be today? Farley had a comedic style which appealed to the ordinary average person, blue collar, not what you’d consider an over achiever. People could relate to him and found his style of humor not only entertaining but also relatable.
His characters were and still are imitated by many, myself included, sometimes that humor’is lost on those who aren’t familiar with his style of comedy but by and large most immediately recognize it.
As a fan of Chris Farley, I believe he’d be far more popular today than he was at the time of his death simply because he would have had another generation of followers who like I related to his characters, found humor in his comedy and appreciated that in his own roundabout way the underdog seemed to always prevail.
His ability to transform himself into a variety of characters, which all had similar chords appealed to me greatly. I’m certain to those folks who’ve only seen his work in reruns and never got to really see his true genius in action should take note of this. His brand of comedy and his style and delivery was entertaining on so many levels. He didn’t have to rely on vulgarity or profanity to get you to laugh which I found enlightening then and welcome now which sadly is more the exception rather than the rule in today’s comedians. Farley could make you laugh then as he would no doubt be able to do today without having to resort to that style of comedy.
He became someone who if you were flipping through the channels and found one of his movies playing you’d watch if for no other reason than because he was in it. I find myself doing that today and my kids who range from seven to thirteen have come to enjoy his movies as well. They’re like many others the next generation of Chris Farley fans who sadly won’t get to see any new works from him, although they really enjoy the movies we watch featuring him.
So, how popular would he be today? Sadly, we won’t ever know the answer to that question, although I personally would like to think he’d still be one to set a standard which other comedians would try hard to achieve.