I Am Chris Farley Premieres in Hollywood: Friends and Family Recall Late Comic's Tragic Death

Documentary brings people to tears

By Sara Kitnick Jul 31, 2015 2:57 PMTags
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Debuting a few months after Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and Amy, I Am Chris Farley, which hits theaters today, is our third documentary this summer highlighting the career of a legendary entertainer whose end came too soon.

But unlike the first two where we see the downward spiral of Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse and how their addictions ultimately killed them, I Am Chris Farley is lighthearted and focuses more on Chris Farley's upbringing, family life and friendships.

The documentary premiered Wednesday in Hollywood and there wasn't a dry eye in the house—mostly tears from laughing so hard—but there were many bittersweet moments, too.

"I don't know if you've lost anyone close, it gets easier but it never goes away," Chris' brother, Kevin Farley, told E! News. "The film brought up a lot of old feelings like it happened yesterday."

Chris passed away on Dec. 18, 1997. Tom Arnold, his friend and fellow comic, shared with E! News what that day was like.

"The day he died, Kevin [Farley] was on my show as a guest star. We were filming a funeral scene. I went into my dressing room to answer the phone, and it was a reporter saying, 'I'm sorry about Chris.' I hung up on him right away because I was thinking, 'Oh, my god.' I go outside in the parking lot and see Kevin crying saying, 'He finally did it. He finally did it.'"

Arnold continued, "I got everyone together, the brothers together. 'Let's call Adam Sandler. Call David Spade. Let's get everyone together and put on a good face for his family. We're gonna go up to Wisconsin. We can be sad later, but right now we got to get it together and support his family.'"

Arnold said he canceled the show and they all hopped on a jet. "We were smoking so many cigars the pilot almost had to land the plane. Everybody was saluting him [Chris], and you could do that, but then there were moments when you were by yourself and you said, 'Dammit, why him?' But I'm selfish. Life was better with him in it. It really was better."

See more of Farley's life in the E! True Hollywood Story clip below.

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