Tommy Boy

Black Sheep

Year: 1996
Directed By: Penelope Spheeris
Written By: Fred Wolf


This movie gets criticism because people say it’s just like Tommy Boy, and the truth of it is that it is just like Tommy Boy.  Is that really a bad thing though? I personally think that Farley and Spade could have made Tommy Boy over and over again in several different scenarios and still continued to make me laugh. Farley and Spade were great together and they were hilarious in both Tommy Boy and Black Sheep. It would have been interesting to see what the future held for the pair had Farley not died.  Farley died in 97, only a year after this film was released.  His life was probably already spinning out of control when he was shooting this film.  I don’t know if Farley’s death was the result of his obsession or his depression but it was unfortunate all the same.

Chris Farley had a fantastic quality about him, he was so effortlessly funny.  America needs the funny big man, and for a few years in the 90s Chris Farley was America’s funny big man.  Part of a long line of funny big men like John Belushi, John Candy, Kevin James, Jonah Hill, and others I’m not remembering. Chris Farley was my favorite of all of them, and he died much much too young.  As I read it when it happened it seemed he wanted to die at 33 to follow in the foot steps of his idol John Belushi.  He was living on the edge and completely out of control, it hardly seemed like an accidental overdose to me.  He was using very aggressively when he died. Too many talented entertainers are lost young to drugs.  I think David Spade’s whole career has been downhill from here, he buried his career when he buried his best friend. He has managed to stick around for all this time and I will give him that, but I wouldn’t call his career successful.  Nevertheless Spade had fantastic whit to bounce off of Farley and it was very funny.  Those two guys together were like peanut butter and jelly, they are just natural compliments of one another.

Some would say this is the lesser of their two movies but I think Farley and Spade offered a lot to laugh at in this movie.  I enjoy it, maybe it is the same movie they made before, but I liked it the first time around and I liked it the second time as well.  Gary Busey has a role in the film playing a guy that’s a little crazy, imagine that right? Christine Ebersol is also very good as the bitchy Incumbent Governor. I enjoy this movie and I think you will find it funny as well.  It is definitely worth your time.


This movie is ridiculous. I can watch it over and over and over and still think it is funny. There is something extremely special about Chris Farley. My dad loved watching him on Saturday Night Live when I was growing up. The running joke still to this day between him and his three brothers is the motivational speaker skits. “That’s why I liiiiiivvee in vaaaan…down by the river.”

One could easily confuse this movie with Tommy Boy, but it hardly matters. I take them both as slapstick comedy that you don’t have to think to hard about. I laugh every time. I have met a few people along the way that really hated Chris Farley and I just can’t believe it. All of his movies are worth watching, just for the fun. He just seemed to me like he would be really fun to hang out with.

NEXT MOVIE: Blade (1998)