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Chris Farley's antics essential to comedy in Black Sheep


Directed by Penelope Spheeris.

Written by Fred Wolf.

Starring Chris Farley and David Spade.

Sony Copley

By Rob Wagner
Staff Reporter

Black Sheep is the latest attempt by Lorne Michaels to milk as much money out of Saturday Night Live as he possibly can. Despite its predictability and completely transparent jokes, Black Sheep is great. Chris Farley and David Spade again play (surprise!) a big fat spaz and a wimpy sarcastic guy, respectively, the same roles they almost invariably played on SNL. The paring works extremely well, far surpassing their first attempt at the big screen, Tommy Boy.

The humor, of course, is on the level of Dumb and Dumber, with more emphasis on the slapstick rather than the disgusting. Simply the inclusion of Chris Farley allows so many opportunities for Three Stooges-like comedy. When viewed in that genre, it is a great film, arousing many good, strong laughs and head shakes. It doesn't make you laugh so hard that you lose your breath until it hurts, but it does bring about a lot of laughs.

It is truly amazing how funny this film is, given we've seen it so many times before. Chris Farley's act hasn't changed a bit since he started SNL, and it still hasn't grown old. He truly makes this film funny, and without him it would be excrement. Farley spent his time at SNL perfecting the big fat spaz routine, whose utter hugeness and complete spasticity has been hilarious in sketches like: Chippendale's audition, Motivation Speaker Matt Foley, and to the Soylent Cow Pies sketch, where he's there pounding himself in the chest and shouting, "Oh my God!"

In Black Sheep, Farley plays the fat, spastic brother of a candidate for Governor of Washington state. Through his crazy antics, he causes scandals which jeopardize his brother's campaign, and David Spade is brought in to keep him out of trouble. Farley's act is pretty much what it was before: rolling down a mountain shouting, "Oh my God," getting his tie caught in a trunk and being dragged around shouting, "Oh my God," and getting his jacket caught in a plane door and getting flown away shouting, "Oh my God." It's completely astounding that it is still just as funny as it was the first time I saw him on SNL.

David Spade, as well, defies logic. He has had unbelievably hilarious in "Hollywood Minute" with lines like "Downtown Julie Brown: Wubba Wubba Wubba, my career's in Trubba Trubba Trubba," and in other roles, such as the sarcastic desk worker who always asks, "And you are...?" His act hasn't changed a bit. In Black Sheep (as in Tommy Boy), he is still playing the same type of sarcastic character, now playing the straight man to the wild Chris Farley.

The fact that both Chris Farley and David Spade have not changed, and that their act is still hilarious, just proves they make a great comedy team. And that Chris Farley, with his hugeness and his spastic antics, is truly funny.