A Ridiculous Amount Of Espresso Helped Chris Farley Prepare For His Hilarious Billy Madison Scene

Actor and comedian Chris Farley really didn't need too much extra help to act totally unhinged, but he apparently used the power of caffeine to fuel at least one of his famously funny improv performances. In the 1995 Adam Sandler film "Billy Madison," Farley plays an elementary school bus driver who gets completely fed up with the rambunctious kids on his bus after one of them hits him in the back of the head with a sandwich while he's driving; he's a huffing, puffing rage machine. In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment celebrating the movie's 25th anniversary, director Tamra Davis recalled how Farley had used espresso to get to the level of intensity he wanted, but that it was also a little scary in the moment for the director. 

Farley was one of the most popular comedic actors of the 1990s. Though his tragic death in 1997 cut his career and life far too short. "Billy Madison" remains one of the funniest of Farley's many hilarious performances, as he plays a lecherous, loud, miserable bus driver that he brings to life with just the right level of trademark wackiness. 

'I will turn this bus around!'

Chris Farley's character only has a handful of scenes in "Billy Madison," but he's unforgettable. In the scene where he's driving and the kids push him just a hair too far, Tamra Davis remembers the actor slamming six shots of espresso before the take:

"And then he went and did it, and he held his breath until he turned red. Everybody else is laughing and I'm gonna have a heart attack, because I'm like the mom... I'm worried he's gonna have a heart attack."

It certainly looks like Farley might have a heart attack while watching the scene, as his eyes bulge out and his face turns the color of Hi-C Fruit Punch. Combined with the knowledge that he drank somewhere around 384 milligrams of caffeine in a matter of seconds, when that's close to the recommended limited daily amount for adults. Other scenes show him eating all of the schoolkids' lunches (along with Mark Beltzman and the late Norm MacDonald) and helping Adam Sandler's character Billy study for the big test by stripping, but every kid who's ever been told by an adult that they had to shut up or the car/truck/bus was getting turned around has Farley's red-faced screech burned into the deepest recesses of their brains. 

Farley was also comedy gold in movies like "Tommy Boy" and "Almost Heroes," but his "Saturday Night Live" sensibilities and a whole lotta caffeine made his short time in "Billy Madison" among his wildest and best-remembered roles.