ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

The comedy classic Tommy Boy celebrates 20 years of hilarity this week, and one member of the cast is commemorating the film with a fitting and heart-wrenching tribute.

Released on March 31, 1995, Tommy Boy stars the late, great Chris Farley and David Spade as a mismatched duo on a road trip. Farley plays the lovably slow-witted and emotionally stunted Tommy Callahan III who goes on the cross-country journey to save his family company following the unexpected death of his father.

A cult comedy classic

The brilliance of Tommy Boy and arguably the reason for its continued success lies in Chris Farley, who is one of the most endearing comedians to ever take the stage. How can you hold back a smile when you see the chemistry between Farley and David Spade, his longtime colleague and pal?

Farley only got to enjoy the success of Tommy Boy for two years before he sadly passed away of a drug overdose in 1997. His death left a gaping hole in the comedy landscape of the '90s, and an even bigger hole in the hearts of his friends. Now, 20 years later, David Spade has taken to Facebook to honor Farley's legacy with a poignant tribute to their time together on Tommy Boy.

"Let's stick together"

Put simply, this is a perfect sentiment. It captures the enduring friendship that helped make the movie so funny and shows just how close Farley and Spade were. There are very few people capable of dropping multiple F-bombs in a commemorative salute, but there's nothing more fitting for two comedians who were once part of "The Bad Boys of SNL."

What could have been

For me, seeing this tearjerker of tribute immediately makes me think of how much potential was lost when Chris Farley passed away. At the time of his death in 1997, he was making some strides to conquering his demons and sought treatment for his drug and alcohol addiction.

Many argue that he looked at his 4-day bender that led to his overdose as "one last party" before getting completely clean. If that didn't prove to be the end, I can't even imagine what Farley would be doing today, but I'm confident he would still have a solid career. In that sense, "gone too soon" doesn't even do him justice.

Shrek, Biopics, and More

Farley was originally cast as the voice of Shrek in DreamWorks' major blockbuster smash, and he even recorded up to 90% of the dialogue before he passed away. With that kind of clout under his belt, he would most likely still be doing the character today!

Behind the scenes, Farley was also in talks to make major moves in his film career. He entertained the possibility of starring in a biopic about silent film star Fatty Arbuckle, meaning we may have even gotten to see him do some dramatic work. Obviously he was an unforgettable comedian, but I would have loved to see him out of his element with a chance to reach out to new audiences.

As much as I wish we could turn back the clock and see this happen, we're still lucky that we have as many classic Farley moments as we do from Saturday Night Live, Almost Heroes, and, of course, Tommy Boy.

The legend continues to be loved and missed

David Spade famously didn't attend Farley's funeral because he "could not be in a room where Chris was in a box." I really respect this statement because, in his life, Chris Farley was too brash, energetic, and contagiously happy to be put in a box. Like Spade, we recognize that he will never be forgotten, which makes tributes like his all the more painful and moving.


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