Chris Farley ‘always had some kind of stunt on’ at summer camp

The late comedian and actor Chris Farley made his stage debut in a performance while away at summer camp and he also made a habit of making people laugh at camp before he became a household name as a television and movie star.

Farley attended Red Arrow Camp in Wisconsin with his brothers and later worked as a camp counselor – actor Scott Foley was one of his campers.

Tim Henry, a friend from Red Arrow, recalled that Chris “always had some kind of stunt going on” in the 2009 book The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts.

“On Sundays they’d load all us Catholic boys into this old school bus and drive us into town,” Henry recalled. “The girls’ camps would come to Sunday mass, too. Now, you’re never allowed to have candy at camp, but somehow one Sunday Chris has gotten ahold of these white tic tacs. He fills his mouth with them, and he’s walking up the aisle for communion so prayerfully, and when he gets in front of the girl campers he rolls his eyes back like he’s going to pass out and then he falls and hits his mouth on the side of the bench and spits out all the tic tacs. They go clattering across this wooden bench, and Chris is yelling, ‘Oh my God! My teeth!;’ The girls were just aghast. We were all laughing hysterically.”

One of Chris’ counselors at camp, Fred Albright described Farley at camp as “a miniature version of what he would become” in the book.

Chris died in 1997 at the age of 33 of a drug overdose. A documentary about his life, called I Am Chris Farley, is releasing in select theaters this week and will premier on Spike TV and become available for download on  August 10.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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