We’re thrilled to have with us today without a doubt the 3rd greatest Washington (just behind George and Denzel) the world has ever known: Mr. Paul Washington. Legendary in North Florida, beloved in South Florida, pretty obscure elsewhere in Florida; Paul is a southpaw with surprising speed, a legal expert, and a gifted writer. Please enjoy this piece he wrote to honor the memory of Chris Farley; a true mega-talent we were all sad to lose nearly 15 years ago.
By: Paul Washington
Chris Farley was my generation’s John Belushi — a prodigiously talented comedian whose appetite for hard drugs and hard living eventually snuffed out his brightly shining flame. Here at The Mighty F, we prefer to remember Farley as the man who made a career out of fidgeting, yelling, and making sharp, quick fat guy movements and not dwell on the life cut short.
Farley projected a Midwestern sweetness about him that endeared him to the audience. In one of his well known Saturday Night Live sketches, “The Chris Farley Show” he would nervously ask questions to celebrities and subsequently berate himself for coming off as stupid. Who can forget when he asked Paul McCartney, “Remember when you were in the Beatles?” and Martin Scorsese, concerning his film The Last Temptation of Christ, “Remember when Jesus goes into the temple, and the moneychangers are there, and Jesus starts punching ’em out and starts turning over the tables and He just loses it on that one guy? Was that your idea?”
When he wasn’t nervously fidgeting, he was yelling and falling through furniture and walls while playing such memorable characters as over-caffeinated motivational speaker Matt Foley…
And sometimes just falling through curtains as himself…
After leaving SNL, he attained more widespread success through starring roles in feature films such as Tommy Boy, Black Sheep
and Beverly Hills Ninja, just to name a few. Little known fact: Farley was also originally supposed to be the voice of Shrek, but was replaced with SNL castmate Mike Myers following his death.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 15 years since the world lost Chris Farley. Don’t bother looking it up, it was December 18, 1997; just 4 days before my 18th birthday. The fact that I quote Tommy Boy or “Jimmy” from Dirty Work no fewer than 10 times per day even now is a testament to the impact he had on my life… either that, or that I watch too much TV.