Bert Kreischer Says Chris Farley Was More Aykroyd Than Belushi
Chris Farley’s wish to emulate his hero John Belushi was legendary. “When Chris was a kid, he used to tape his eyebrow up to try and figure out how Belushi did it,” explained Lorne Michaels in The Chris Farley Show. As a young cast member, Farley would search Saturday Night Live’s wardrobe for pants that Belushi wore. “I used to get stuff that had old cast members’ names in them,” remembers David Spade, “but when (Farley’s pants) said, ‘Belushi,’ he loved that. He would keep those; he’d wear them.”
But when comedian Bert Kreischer appeared with Spade and Dana Carvey this week on the Fly on the Wall podcast, Belushi wasn’t the comic that Kreischer saw in Farley. “I was a Belushi/Farley guy,” he says, recalling conversations he’s had with colleagues about great buddy comedies. “We were talking about Tommy Boy and immediately, you think Belushi is Farley and you (Spade) are Aykroyd. But when you look at Blues Brothers, technically Aykroyd is Farley and Belushi is you because he’s more straitlaced. Belushi’s the straight man in the entire thing. Aykroyd is the one who’s putting the super-glue on the pedal. He’s the one doing all the tricks. He’s the one driving crazy. It’s so fascinating.”
Kreischer thinks we may misremember Belushi as primarily anarchic, citing movies like Continental Divide and Neighbors (a film where Aykroyd and Belushi switched roles right before filming, once again placing Belushi in the straight role to Aykroyd’s wild man). “The only thing (Belushi) did was Animal House,” he says, “and he didn’t fucking speak!”
Kreischer continued his buddy-comedy thought experiment with Carvey. In Wayne’s World, wasn’t Carvey the Farley character and Mike Myers the Spade archetype? Not necessarily, Spade responded, arguing that he and Farley were total opposites while Wayne and Garth were more complementary. Kreischer pushed back on that notion, citing the times that Myers would turn to the camera and point to Carvey with a “can you believe this guy?” reaction. “Someone’s got to be off,” Kreischer says, “and someone’s got to be on” — in other words, somebody has got to be the straight guy, and he argues it’s Wayne.
For his part, Kreischer would rather be Garth or Farley “because I’m always a little bizarre. The off guy, as opposed to the guy who knows what’s going on.”
As for Farley’s historical comp, Spade still leans toward Belushi despite Kreischer’s examples of Belushi’s straighter roles, pointing out that Farley wanted to work that more serious vein as well. Maybe the real answer is that Chris Farley was a hybrid of his two SNL heroes. “I used to say,” Lorne Michaels has argued, “that (Farley) was the son that John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd never had.”