David Spade and Chris Farley (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Chris Farley's Dramatic Ambitions For Black Sheep Came At The Expense Of David Spade
Penelope Spheeris' 1996 comedy film "Black Sheep" was the second film to feature David Spade and Chris Farley playing opposite each other as a traditional comedy duo. However, it seems this time-tested dynamic almost reached a breaking point on "Black Sheep," as neither actor felt terribly within their wheelhouse.
Spade felt that "Black Sheep" was meant to be a slapstick farce with characters falling over and getting comedically injured, but Farley felt it was a relationship film about him and Tim Matheson’s character. According to Spade, Farley even tried to reduce his co-star's role in the film so that he could spend more time building his character dramatically.
In the 2009 book "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts," Spade said, “I don't think he meant it to be offensive to me. He just wanted to act and didn't want to keep doing 'fatty falls down.' Personally, I thought it was too early; we needed more experience before we tried to do those things."
Perhaps after several buddy comedies, Spade would have been proven right, and the two of them could indeed make more dramatic features. In 1996, however, it was not the time, and Spade lamented that Spheeris added more exchanges between Farley and Matheson, saying, “I didn't have Chris, and my humor is funny when I have someone to play off of."