If you're a fan of the late comedian Chris Farley, you've most likely seen his famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch "Chippendales Audition." It first aired on October 27, 1990, and was the first to feature Farley in a lead role. It's probably his most famous sketch, though it's not without controversy.
In the scene, host Patrick Swayze ("Dirty Dancing") plays Adrian and Farley plays Barney, two dancers auditioning to become part of the famous Chippendales dancers. Jan Hooks ("3rd Rock from the Sun"), Kevin Nealon ("Weeds"), and Mike Myers ("Wayne's World," "Austin Powers") are there to judge them as they dance to "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy. The two of them dance together on the stage, with Swayze doing all the expert moves you'd expect and Farley honestly working just as hard. He was one of the kings of physical comedy, after all. Once the dancers finish their routines, they wait backstage and give each other pep talks. Adrian wins, and it's said that it's because his body is better. Barney doesn't even blink at the insults to his physique, and we hear Adrian's inner thoughts about how Barney made him a better dancer.
As /Film's own Joshua Meyer reports, not everyone was a fan, including then "SNL" writer Bob Odenkirk ("Better Call Saul") and castmate and comedian Chris Rock ("Everybody Hates Chris"), who decried the fat shaming. That said, Farley's physical comedy really shines here, and it got him noticed very quickly.
One person who took notice of Farley's talent was his scene mate Myers, according to a report on the documentary "I Am Chris Farley" from Esquire in 2015.
'I Have A Lot Of Energy But I Don't Have That Energy'
Mike Myers spoke to Esquire about improvising with the energetic Chris Farley, who had just joined the show that season. He said, "I was scared to death because he had already knocked somebody's tooth out and gave somebody else a scar from being so crazy. I have a lot of energy, but I don't have that energy." Farley wasn't ever afraid to go too far in a sketch, and most of them were really physical, as Myers says.
If you watch the sketch, as the Esquire article points out, you can see Myers covering his mouth to try not to break character. It was the scene that made Myers realize Farley was going to be famous. He says in the film, "After the Chippendales, we were like, 'Oh, this guy's going to be a giant. He's going to be a huge star.'"
Farley did go on to become a colossal comedy sensation, with his tenure on "SNL" lasting from 1990 through 1995. He appeared in films like "Airheads," "Tommy Boy," "Black Sheep," and "Beverly Hills Ninja." In fact, his first film appearance was in a Mike Myers film. He played a wildly gesturing security guard in "Wayne's World" (based on the recurring "SNL" sketch with Myers and Dana Carvey) and was brought back as a different character, Milton, in "Wayne's World 2." Farley sadly died of a drug overdose in 1997 at the age of 33. He left an incredible comic legacy behind him, despite his short career.
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