Comedians have been making their way to Broadway recently, with Robin Williams in Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo and Dane Cook in Fat Pig this season. Even Saturday Night Live alumni like Will Ferrell and Chris Rock have made their debuts—Rock in this season’s The Motherf**ker With The Hat. Soon, another SNL name could be seen on a Broadway marquee, but as the play’s subject rather than as a cast member—the late Chris Farley.
A reading of the new play The Fatman Cometh: The Life and Death of Chris Farley held an industry reading on February 28 at The Players Theatre. The play, which is a work in progress, depicts conversations between Farley and his manager in his dressing room at SNL during his final months as a cast member.
The play, which ran approximately for an hour, needs to be fleshed out, but there is potential to find an audience among nostalgic comedy fans and fervent Farley followers. The play is funny, which is a necessary factor, given Farley’s outrageous humor. Alan Pagano’s portrayal of Farley is a physically accurate performance without being a full-out imitation. The script is peppered with real accounts of Farley’s pranks and public buffoonery (such as sticking his naked behind out of a car window), references to SNL stars Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and John Belushi, and Farley’s cult films. The character of Farley’s fictional manager Kip Kaplan gets lots of punch lines, as he brushes his client off with stereotypical Hollywood cynicism. Read more