DirecTV Resurrects Chris Farley In Questionable Ad

Is anyone else skeeved out over the DirecTV ad? Based on the movie Tommy Boy, in which Chris Farley — who died in 1997 due to a drug overdose and heart complications — the spot shows Farley doing his famed Fat Guy in a Little Coat Dance as co-star David Spade re-dubs his character’s dialogue.

It’s bizarre that Spade, a close pal of Farley’s, went along with this. He and DirecTV must have miscalculated the ad as a tribute to a great movie moment rather than a disturbing, insensitive money grab.

Or maybe Comcast put together the ad as a way to drive people away from DirecTV.

DirecTV Profits Off the Dead [The Mep Report]
(Thanks, Russ!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. AI says:

    Eh, I like it.

    • ShadowFalls says:


      I don’t really see the problem with it. It is kind of clever really. Do people have a problem with this just because the one guy is dead? I mean it isn’t like they butchered it or anything.

  2. GMFish says:

    Farley is apparently alive again and Spade would rather watch TV?! The ad is mean-spirited and cruel.

  3. sbcpunkrocker says:

    I’ve got other things to worry about.

  4. techstar25 says:

    I like it. It’s funny. Spade is a good sport, and it was a great scene.

  5. Darrone says:

    YES. You get David Spade for $7 an hour, and you have an excuse to use Chris Farley’s dead corpse.

  6. paris1886 says:

    I had the same feelings when I saw it. My first thought was that it’s too soon…then realized Farley died 12 years ago, but it still makes me feel uncomfortable.

  7. RonDiaz says:

    Haven’t they used all kinds of dead celebrities in these types of ads…?

  8. BeyondtheTech says:

    Chris Farley is dead?!

    I just saw him last week with Tupac at the O-Town concert.

  9. Aphex242 says:

    Meh I like it. I agree it’s a little odd, but I’m guessing Farley’s family is seeing something from it, so no harm done. It’s a great movie, and being reminded of it doesn’t bother me a bit.

    • QuantumRiff says:

      @aphex242: His brother runs a non-profit [] that helps kids stay away from Substance abuse. I would guess this is where the money went, since it was created from his estate.

      • JPropaganda says:

        @QuantumRiff: Seeing as their last event was May 21 2008, something tells me the foundation isn’t very active these days.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @JPropaganda: It looks like the May 21 book event at the Verona Public Library was for 2009 since it’s not listed under the 2008 event listings. Some small nonprofits can only do one or two major events a year.

    • Preyfar says:

      @aphex242: Farley wanted to entertain to the very end. I don’t think he’d have had a problem with that. I don’t think Spade would ever have done anything to soil Farley’s memories. The two were inseparable.

    • VioletPheonix says:

      @aphex242: @GMFish: Really? I didn’t see it that way, I thought he did a good job of keeping in character with the movie. At the time David Spade would have liked to be anywhere in the world then with Chris Farley, and the ad managed to capture that.

    • leastcmplicated says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: +1 on the Orville Redenbacher, that IS creepy. I laughed when I saw it because I was reminded of Tommy Boy, i wasnt the least bit creeped out. Also, they used at least one other dead person in those commercials in the past, the girl in poltergeist movies. Honestly, i dont think they really care at this point… *shrug*

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @leastcmplicated: That’s a great point. I was racking my brain, trying to think of all the other ones and I couldn’t come up with one in which the actor who played the character had already died. Thanks for reminding me of the Poltergeist girl.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I didn’t interpret it as being questionable. The man died, albeit in a very tragic way, but that was over 10 years ago. That scene is the most famous one in the movie. I saw the commercial as being more of a tribute and less of a money grab because it is a pretty iconic scene.

    It’s not like the Orville Redenbacher commercials in which they digitally resurrected the popcorn king. Now that is creepy.

    • MaBelle says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: nor is this Farley resurrection as creepy as the Dirt Devil (?) commercials where Fred Astaire danced with a vacuum cleaner. Now if Chris’s lines had been dubbed over, that would bother me.

    • bornonbord says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Yeah, but this is not a spokesperson being re-used to sell a product. They are essentially using Chris Farley to advertise a product that he probably didn’t even know about in his lifetime.

      And the fact that it’s David Spade in it as well is really weird. He almost looks awkward participating.

      It would be a tribute if it were more centered on Farley and all of life legacy of Farley – kind of like that “what if James Dean lived” ad.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @bornonbord: I wasn’t talking about the intent of the commercial, only that by using the film footage of Farley, it wasn’t nearly as creepy as digitally re-creating Orville Redenbacher, who by 2007 (when the new commercials launched) was long dead. I have no problem with using Farley to promote DirecTV because it’s not really too important what Farley may have thought about DirecTV. It’s not as if Phillip Morris wanted to use his likeness and image to promote cigarettes.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I donno, though.
      Farley never appeared in ads, or at least so rarely that I don’t recall them.
      Spade’s a whore for cheap ads, so the appearance is that he’s dragging his “buddy’s” corpse alongside him to earn a paycheck he’d otherwise not be able to earn. (shudder)

      It’s not that that late night ad guy who OD’d where they posted an ad post-mortum: selling orange Windex was what he did. Creepy and in poor taste, but it’s clear it’s what he would have done.

      Farley’s different, given his behavior before he died. So DirecTV is creepy and David Spade is a ghoulish freak whoring the memory of his “friend”.

  11. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    It’s a dumb add. Whoever thought that up needs to go live in a van, down by the river.

  12. MickeyMoo says:

    No worse than re-appropriating Audrey Hepburn to shill for crappy GAP jeans.

  13. bloggerX says:

    Stay classy, DirecTV.

  14. Vermifuge says:

    So just becasue he is dead we are not allowed to laugh at / with him? I don’t think he would have wanted it that way.

    • rdm says:

      @Vermifuge: That is true, but we can just watch the Tommy Boy DVD to laugh at the original content instead of this creepy revamp that Spade is cashing in on.

  15. Beefmaster says:

    I think the commercial was fine and didnt give me any weird “emotions.” however if michael jackson is the theme for DirecTV’s next old movie type add, that will be weird.

  16. PLATTWORX says:

    I find it odd this story does not even hint at the fact that rights to Chris Farley’s work would be owned by his estate/family and THEY would have had to approve this ad for it to have been done.

    Did we think that perhaps Chris Farley’s family was cool with this and asked David Spade to participate? While no mega-star, I am sure Spade didn’t need the couple extra bucks.

  17. Ronin-Democrat says:

    we see lots of dead celebs selling things or their image/voice being used to sell the celeb themself.

    malcolm x

    like a poster said…… i’ve got other things to worry about.

    • floraposte says:

      @Ronin-Democrat: The one I actually like is a British PSA by late comedian Bob Monkhouse, who died of prostate cancer, for prostate cancer awareness. It’s quite well done.

  18. angryneo says:

    Is it because the guy had “a bit of a weight problem”? Let it go.

  19. Thaddeus says:

    Skeeved about covers it. I find this ad to be in bad taste due to the unfortunate death of Farley but it wont make me any more or less inclined to purchase DirectTV.

  20. Japheaux says:

    The least they could have done was added a reference to the Little Rascals and have Farley ask if Spanky is your favorite.

  21. HogwartsAlum says:

    ?? I haven’t seen this on my DTV. (can’t watch the video at work)

  22. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Meh – I think fans of Spade/Farley ultimately see the humor in this and have little to no issue with it. Besides, I highly doubt David Spade would’ve gone along with it had he felt it was cruel or insensitive to his good friend’s memory.

    I’m sure Chris Farley is up at some big bar in the sky smiling down, knowing he still lives on ;)

  23. BigFoot_Pete says:

    One of Farley’s more iconic scenes… I think it’s great that people get a chuckle out of it again.

  24. bhaughey says:

    It was only annoying because after only 1 football game, I was singing “Fat Guy in Little Coat” all day.

  25. bhaughey says:

    I can’t wait for the Silence of the Lambs version. Jame Gumb is saying “It puts the lotion in the basket,” pan down to the poor girl in the well… “Boy, I sure wish I had DirecTV down here…”

  26. eirrom says:

    When I saw this ad, the last thing thing that came to me was that this was disrespectful towards Chris Farley. It was just a clip of one of his most popular movies. What is the harm with that?

    What I did think was that this ad and all the similar ads that Direct TV has done recent are just getting old. The ad style is worn and needs to be put away. How many more movies are they going to try this with? Funny the first time. Not so much now.

    • zlionsfan says:

      @eirrom: agreed. I can understand a company like DirecTV looking at some of the extreme bits of unfunny that pass for ads these days and saying “nah, let’s run with this for another year”, but that still doesn’t make it funny. I thought it was not funny because it was stale, not because Farley is dead.

      Well, that and I never cared much for either comedian’s humor in the first place.

  27. dpeters11 says:

    It wasn’t as creepy as the Heather O’Rourke spot. But her mother said that she not only approved it, she thought it was a good tribute. If the estate approves the use, approves of the final product, then I’m fine with it.

  28. Zagroseckt says:

    i thought it was funny
    and yes i know he’s passed on

    So is the guy who did the popcorn
    now THAT was creeeeepy

  29. JimBoSlobish says:

    I thought it was off a bit at first, but love it now.

  30. twophrasebark says:

    It’s creepy.

    Maybe they should have had Spade pull out Farley’s skull from behind the sofa and say “Sorry, buddy. Spade’s gotta eat.”

  31. jmsbmck says:

    It is HILARIOUS. Saw it for the first time last night and did a double-take because I thought the movie was actually being shown. They did a good job with it!

  32. cskelldog says:

    I understand what they were doing with the ad. I just don’t like it, once it was over, it gave me a bad taste in my mouth. If they would use Chris Farley in anything these days, It needs to be a tribute, not to buy shitty cable

  33. squishyalt says:

    It’s DirecTV….what did you expect? Morality? Ethics? Common decency?

    Have you met DirecTV before?

  34. drjayphd says:

    EXCLUSIVE photo from the negotiations for this ad campaign below…

  35. TVGenius says:

    I thought it was cool.

  36. gparlett says:

    When this came on I started to laugh and my wife asked me why it was funny… “Well, see he a fat man, and he’s wearing a little coat… fat man in a little coat.” “Yeah, I get that, but like is it from anything?”… I felt so old… these are the perils of marrying someone who is 7 years younger than you.

  37. P_Smith says:

    Who is Chris Farley?

  38. biggeek3 says:

    Maybe they can use Phil Hartman next.

  39. AngryK9 says:

    Well, you still watch movies with dead actors in them…

  40. jrm82 says:

    I don’t think that this is terrible in anyway. It is a clip from a movie. I really feel that objections to it is like saying that TBS shouldn’t rerun Tommy Boy. I can’t think of specific examples, but I’m sure I’ve seen commercials with footage from older movies (30s and 40s) with stars that are most likely deceased. I just see it as a funny movie clip.

  41. baristabrawl says:

    Seriously? He was funny, but he kinda killed himself. I feel bad about that, but there’s only so bad you can feel, right?