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Stern brought up that the Chippendales sketch — which featured Farley and the late Patrick Swayze dueling for a spot in the male striptease show — has come under fire in recent years for perhaps adding to Farley’s self-destructive behavior. (The comedian died in 1997 of a drug overdose.)
Smigel told Stern that the sketch is misunderstood.
“I was in a debate about it with some people who wrote Chris Farley’s book, which was everyone weighing in on Chris’ life and what happened to him,” Smigel said. “And I think someone in the book said, ‘That sketch was the first step in killing him,’ because it was like he had no respect for himself by doing that sketch.”
The writer pointed out that Farley was “incredibly nimble” and actually a great dancer. “In a way, it was a very empowering sketch, and I think that is what people felt the first time they watched it,” he said.
Stern argued the moment showed that Farley was an amazing physical comedian. Smigel agreed. “He was the most explosively funny person, and I think most people who worked at that time would agree with that,” he said.
Watch the interview segment below.
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