My Interview With Kevin Farley

For the next 30 weeks or so, Sundays will not have any new NFL Football games on. While the initial option of sitting in front of the television sobbing like a four year old girl was tempting, another option was to try and find something to laugh and smile about.  The world is a serious one, and comedians are vital to bringing some emblance of happiness during tough times. At the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis, I had the opportunity to interview Comedian Kevin Farley. Kevin is the brother of the late Chris Farley.

Staring at Kevin is like staring at Chris. Chris died way too young. While Kevin is a genuinely funny guy himself, he is like anybody else that lost sombody they loved way too soon.

My initial meeting with Kevin started very awkwardly through no fault of his. Kevin was promoting his movie, and he noticed that I was not smiling in a crowd of happy people. This was perceptive on his part, given that he was surrounded by plenty of people. So he asked me what was wrong. I told him thatI had an isue with somebody in his movie, but that I did not want to burden him with it, and that I wished him success.

What came next surprised me. His handler kept trying to pull him away, but he would not listen to her. She did not want to hear anything negative. Kevin wanted to hear it. I insisted again that I did not want to take away from his moment, but he wanted everything to be perfect. I explained to him that the producer of the movie, somebody I previously held in high regard, made comments that were anti-Jewish. I told him that as a Jewish Republican, I found it painful to have to criticize somebody that I actually agreed with on most issues. Kevin apologized for the producer’s remarks, but I told him that he had nothing to apologize for. We shook hands, and at this point his handler desperately wanted him away from me. He was incredibly nice, and looked at me, and I explained to him that I understood.

Later that evening, I ran into him again during a much quieter time. The speeches had ended, and I was relaxing in one of the luxury booths that he happened to be standing right outside of. He again wanted to apologize, and I again told him I had no objection with him, and found him likable. I asked him if he was up to an interview, and he said yes. Then, just before I asked my first question, something weird happened. 

Kevin was trying to make light of the situation I explained to him. I want to make it clear that he had zero malice. Comedians somtimes use humor to diffuse tense situations. Yet just before I asked my first question, Kevin pointed at me and yelled, “Jew!” He then sat back and laughed.

I forced some nervous laughter, because I was thinking, “Kevin, come on man.” I felt like he was mocking what was a very serious situation. Having said that, there is no question in my mind that he is a nice guy. In my mind, his joke didn’t work. Having said that, he truly does come across as a very sincere person. Unlike his brother, who stayed away from politics, Kevin is pretty serious isues as well. Despite the initial awkwardness, I do not regret meeting him. Not all jokes will work, and he had the best of intentions.

With that, below is my interview with Kevin Farley.     

1) What are the most important issues of 2008?

KF: “Foreign Policy, Iraq, energy, and the economy are all important. Recovering from this loan isue is very important. I’m very concerned about the falling value of the dollar. Social isues are less important.”

2) How have you been enjoying the convention so far? What is the storyline of this convention?

KF: “The storyline is that I am very lonely. I do not even need or rate Secret Service Protection.”

3) Who are your 3 favorite political heroes?

KF: “My political heroes are JFK, Ronald Reagan, and Harry Truman.”

4) How would you like to be remembered 100 years from now? What would you want people to say about Kevin Farley the person? Also, how would you like people to remember your brother Chris?

KF: “I want people to love Chris, and I want them to laugh at both of us.”

One of things that is very important is that people are judged as individuals. I did not base my opinion of Kevin Farley on the low opinion I had of his producer, nor did he get a free pass for being the brother of Chris Farley.

Yet on his own, Kevin Farley is a bright guy with an equally bright future ahead of him. Despite that awkward moment, he has a warmth and a depth that make getting to know him worthwhile. Like his late brother, he can be a clown. Yet neither of them were fools.

Kevin again let me know that he was “only kidding” about his earlier remark. I told him it was fine. Humor is about being edgy, and sometimes it will not work. Yet overall, Kevin Farley is funny. More importantly, he is very sincere, whether talking politics, or discussing his brother. It truly was a genuine pleasure meeting and getting to know Kevin Farley.

I wish him well always, and know that Chris is smiling upon him from above.


One Response to “My Interview With Kevin Farley”

  1. Is this still about David Zucker? I will never understand what offended you so much about that.


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