Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Tribute to the Late Great Chris Farley: Photos, and Poem by Daniel Ari

Update: The great poet Daniel Ari is my brother.  He is way better with words than I can hope to be, at least in the short term.  His poem perfectly describes both my reverence for Farley, and our encounter with a street performer portraying Farley.

"When you’re living in a van down by the river"

—for David

Future generations, Chris Farley
was a corpulent comedian
a little like John Belushi—if
you still know him. Both played their poundage.
Chris did a Chippendale’s parody.

(That’s a male stripper.) He was undone
young by his weight, and drugs. In Vegas,
where cos-players busk for tips downtown,
a fat man had Farley’s hair, glasses,
manners and stripper dance to a T.

My brother was transported by his
embodiment. I took their picture
and a video as they sang quotes.
David gave him a buck, then two more.
An artist, too, he lives cannily

and values showing gratitude for
homage of such funny sorrow.

He had the mannerisms down, the little head-flick to throw his hair back, compulsive pants-pulling-up, etc.
Thanks, Daniel. Your poem brought a tear to my eye.  I was moved by seeing my open emotion reflected so honestly by your words.  You are amazing at what you do and it makes the world a lot better.  Cheers!

"You'll have plenty of time to think about it when you're livin' in a van down by the river!"
older post:

Chris Farley's comedic genius was equal to that of John Belushi.  Sadly, so were his personal lifestyle habits. He had no illusions of long life; he well-knew what his fast living would lead to.  I shed no tears for his choice: it was after all, his choice, and he enjoyed his life to the fullest.  I am sad to lose such a talent who brought much laughter to this world.

This man was keeping Chris's spirit alive and fairly healthy-looking, on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. I tipped him and got a sampling of two of Farley's memorable characters: Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who lives "in a van down by the river!", represented by the plaid jacket; and Barney, the prospective Chippendale's dancer who auditions alongside Patrick Swayze, represented by the black slacks and bowtie. 

"It amounts to JACK SQUAT!"

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