I was an odd kid. If my mom could take over the blog for a day, man would she have some stories to regale you with. My childhood is often a source of entertainment for my family over meals and holidays. From a young age I was loud, dramatic, imaginative, and had no shame or embarrassment. I also seemed to latch onto the oddest obsessions and idols (Presidents anyone?) One of those people was Chris Farley. The comedian was a strange choice for a seven year old girl to look up to.
This week marked the 20th anniversary of Tommy Boy being released. I know, I feel old too. Especially when I realize my younger cousins have never seen this movie. I’m lucky if they’ve even heard of Tommy Boy or Chris Farley. Growing up Tommy Boy was MY movie. Well, if I’m being honest it was the adored crown jewel of my Chris Farley movie collection. (Except for the summer I spent pretending to be a Beverly Hills Ninja.)
Tommy Boy was the first comedy movie I remember finding hysterical. Even though I may not have gotten all the adult jokes over my head, Chris Farley’s loud and physical comedy entranced me. Soon my mom found me watching Farley’s movies on repeat, staying up late to watch Saturday Night Live if he was making an appearance, and (loudly) acting out many of his skits and reciting popular lines much to my mom’s second hand embarrassment.
Tonight I asked my mom if any specific memories came to mind and all she could do was shake her head laughing and say “Living in a van down by the river!” That was a personal favorite that I often embellished with a specific voice and fake glasses I pushed up my nose. Lucky for me (unluckily for ya’ll) I grew up in the age where we didn’t have smart phones to record every moment. My mom had to pick and choose what made the cut for home videos and my antics were far too frequent for her to hassle most of the time.
Although my tastes have changed over 20 years, I still enjoy watching Tommy Boy and there’s plenty of laughter involved. I may even find myself quoting it from time to time. I think I probably would’ve grown to have a sense of humor no matter what (I hope at least) but I know that Chris Farley and Tommy Boy sped the process up and helped me discover my comedic timing, plus my penchant and desire for making others laugh. It was a good outlet for a kid like me.
Did you have any strange idols as a child?
P.S. – Tommy Boy wasn’t the only movie that’s impacted me. See how Almost Famous taught me about life, love, and following your passions.
Until next time,