Tom Arnold Once Held an Intervention for Chris Farley Before Dying of an Overdose in 1997

Tom Arnold is, once again, opening up about his relationship with fellow actor and comedian Chris Farley – who passed away in 1997 from a drug overdose. The two became close friends on the set of Saturday Night Live! after being introduced by Lorne Michaels, who created and produced the show. 

Arnold, who had his own struggles with substance abuse, was Farley’s sober sponsor for several years. He had warned Farley about his weight and substance abuse – which included both cocaine and heroin – adding that he will die if he keeps up his eating and drug habits. Unfortunately, Farley didn’t listen. 

“I told him early on, ‘You can’t be super fat and do drugs; that’s death. You’ve got to make a choice. It’s best you don’t do either, but you cannot do both,’” said Tom Arnold in a recent interview with Page Six. He had a point – the combination of the two makes it extremely hard to treat either one, resulting in death.

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At one point during their friendship, Farley was staying at Arnold’s home in Los Angeles. Towards the end of his stay, Arnold decided to stage an intervention for Farley, who was headed down a very tragic road. He was joined by fellow actor Rob Lowe and one of Farley’s close siblings, both of whom were worried.

“He sits down, and we tell him how much we love him and we want him to go to this rehab. It’s all set up. And he’s like, ‘I’m gonna do this, but I need to run back to New York just to grab some stuff,’ and that means, go back to New York to get some more heroin,” explained Arnold in his exclusive interview. 

While the intervention didn’t spur any change in the late actor’s lifestyle, he eventually agreed to check into rehab when a therapist explained that he would be given drugs to prevent seizures and manage withdrawal symptoms. Farley was on-board, but apparently for all the wrong reasons, as it didn’t last long.

Chris Farley would end up checking into rehab 16 times, according to Arnold. His unhealthy lifestyle led to his eventual death on December 18, 1997, at just 33 years old. He died of a cocaine and morphine overdose, but the autopsy report also cited advanced atherosclerosis as another contributing factor. 

Remembering Chris Farley and His Legacy in Comedy

Tom Arnold Once Held an Intervention for Chris Farley Before Dying of an Overdose in 1997 | Tom Arnold recently opened up about the time he staged an intervention for his late friend, Chris Farley, before dying of an overdose in 1997.

Chris Farley is one of the funniest comedians of all time, and while his career was cut eerily short due to his substance abuse and weight, he left behind a lasting legacy in the industry – he defined what comedy was in the 1990s. His enthusiasm, athleticism (despite his size), and passion were on display at all times. 

His love of comedy was discovered in the mid-1980s while attending Marquette University, where he majored in communications and theater – he also played rugby, which is where his athleticism came from. He made a name for himself in improvisational comedy in the late-1980s at the Second City Theatre. 

By 1990, he joined the crew at Saturday Night Live! and formed close relationships with several comedic geniuses – including Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. They were known as the ‘Bad Boys of SNL’ and are some of the most popular SNL cast members of all time.

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In addition to his 100 episodes on SNL, Chris Farley appeared in several popular films – including Billy Madison, Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, Beverly Hills Ninja, and both Wayne’s World films. He received two nominations at the MTV Movie Awards – one for his role in Tommy Boy and another for Beverly Hills Ninja.

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