Son of A! ‘Tommy Boy’ Turns 25, Our Love For Chris Farley Still Burns Bright
A movie can capture the spirit of a time, or its zeitgeist, as the Germans say. Perhaps no movie embodies its time and place quite like Tommy Boy. The unpretentious road trip buddy flick is like a snapshot of 1995. It was a total laugh riot. Who can forget when that deer wakes up in the backseat or the fake in-flight safety demo scene? Despite all the absurd bits, it wasn’t without a certain subversive insight. The film addressed the growing economic anxiety of an increasingly displaced working class. Now, we are all fat guys in little coats.
The film turns 25 this year, but Chris Farley’s jocular slapstick and David Spade’s whiny snark still feel fresh. Underappreciated by critics, it was a major commercial success, grossing over $32 million. It made Farley into a superstar, though one snuffed out too soon. The big man may be gone, but he is not forgotten. He lives on in a van down by the river of our hearts. Here’s a list catching you up with where the cast of this comedic cult movie is today, with a few surprises thrown in as well.
Photo: Broadway Pictures
Supermodel and actor Bo Derek plays Farley’s stepmom, who it turns out is a gold-digging con artist, but we’d marry her even if we knew it. Derek still turns heads today, even in her '60s, but she also runs a pet care line that profits retired military dogs.
Legendary SNL alum Dan Aykroyd had a brief but unforgettable role as both a villain and hero in Tommy Boy. Aykroyd is still acting in blockbusters and he is slated to appear in Ghostbusters: Afterlife which releases hits theaters this July.
Canadian actor Camilla Scott played the flight attendant in one of the funny parts of the film. She’s been very busy acting and currently voices Mama Bear on The Berenstain Bears TV show.
We don’t know if the many appearances of Dunkin' Donuts in the film are product placement, but they are a tad conspicuous. Last year, the company dropped the "Donut" from its name in a much mocked marketing debacle.
Acting legend Brian Dennehy plays Farley’s father, and probably took the role for a chance to lock lips with Bo Derek. Now, at 82 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down, having recently appeared on the TV show The Blacklist and with three films in preproduction.
Julie Warner played Michelle, who the main character Tommy apishly courts with disastrous results. She’s appeared in dozens of TV shows and films since, most recently Unbelievable, quite possibly the worst film of 2018.
Former Brat Packer Rob Lowe was more or less the villain in every SNL movie made in the early '90s, Tommy Boy included. Almost as ageless as his castmate Bo Derek, Lowe acts heavily in TV, with a show 9-1-1: Lone Star currently in post-production and slated for release later this year.
America's Industrial Base
In the film, Callahan Auto is in danger of being bought out and gutted, leaving hundreds unemployed in Sandusky, Ohio. Sadly, in the 25 years since 1995, many communities throughout the U.S. have faced this fate, with the country’s industrial base so diminished that the Pentagon has identified it as a national security threat.
David Spade and Chris Farley formed a dynamic comedic partnership, which sadly ended far too prematurely. Spade hasn’t hurt for work since, having starred in films like Joe Dirt and currently hosting his own talk show where he still shoots off sarcastic zingers.
A Touching On-Air Tribute From an Old Friend
According to urban legend, Farley was the third big man of comedy felled by the curse of Fatty Arbuckle, who both John Belushi and John Candy were attached to as well before their deaths. Whatever the cause of his death, old friend Adam Sandler’s touching tribute to his former SNL castmate on that show last year proves Farley has not been forgotten.