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Remembering Chris Farley

This week marks the 25th anniversary of this local legend’s passing.

Chris Farley entertaining friends backstage

“Everybody who saw him perform got a little piece of his soul.” — Bob Odenkirk on Chris Farley

Photo via @thesecondcity

Yesterday marked 25 years since the passing of Madison native Chris Farley.

Born and raised on the east side, Chris attended Edgewood High School and lived in the Maple Bluff neighborhood on Lake Mendota.

After graduating high school, he went to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Here, he met fellow funny freshman, Pat Finn. The two discovered their love for performing comedy together and both went on to have successful entertainment careers.

Post-grad, Chris went back to Madison to work for his Dad at Scotch Oil Co. on the north shore of Lake Mendota. Any “Joe Dirt” fans out there? David Spade paid homage to his late friend by working a Scotch Oil plot point into the 2001 film.

A few other 608 spots that have Farley connections include:

  • The Ark Theatre | Now the Quick Clean Pepsi laundromat on N. Bassett, this former improv theater is the birthplace of Matt Foley.
  • Vic Pierce | If you know it, you love it. The only place in Madison to buy beer past 9 p.m., Chris’s brother has told stories of their late-night visits here.
  • State Street Brats | A true Madisonian — keep an eye out for the comedian’s headshot framed near the entrance of this favorite bar of his.
  • Comedy on State | Multiple Farleys, Chris and his younger brothers, have graced the stage at 608’s iconic comedy club.

Chris Farley was laid to rest at Resurrection Cemetery on Regent Street. Although, it doesn’t take a trip to the cemetery to feel his presence in the city. Whether you’re catching a show at the comedy club, walking the halls of Edgewood Highschool, or livin’ in a van down by Lake Mendota, Chris Farley is a hilariously beloved part of Madison’s DNA, and that’s just dandy with us.

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