Some people, including this people, were a little grossed out by David Spade’s appearance with a CGI Chris Farley in an ad for Direct TV. I think the main reasons people were bothered by it was the fact that advertising is obnoxious, Chris Farley is dead, and shame on you, David Spade. But I’m sure he had his reasons (got to put food on your mansion). And one website decided to find out what those reasons were. From Asylum:

We reached out to David Spade through his publicist, who provided Asylum with a statement from Spade.

“When DIRECT TV came to me and the Farley family with this idea about ‘Tommy Boy,’ we talked and thought it would be a cool way to remind people just how funny Chris was. It is a clever homage to my friend and a movie that we loved doing, ” he says.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Direct TV told us, “We should look to Chris’ family and friends for the ultimate opinion on this subject. They were involved from the beginning of this project and felt that the spot was a great to tribute to Chris.”

Oh boy. A few things about this:

First of all, SHAME ON YOU AGAIN, DAVID SPADE. In light of the accusations being made against you, that you’re trampling on the grave of your friend, and that you’re exploiting his talent and your relationship with him in a poorly thought-out cash grab during a career slump, you could have taken 10 minutes out of your hot tub to give a statement yourself. Maybe not to Asylum. I’m not saying you have to talk directly to Asylum.com. But I am saying that having your only word on the matter be a publicist’s statement to the Maxim magazine of the Internet looks pretty shitty. You could even give the statement FROM your hot tub. I’m saying, if leaving the hot tub is the issue, there are probably ways to work around the hot tub problem.

Second of all, it is not up to David Spade, and it is not even up to the Farley family, to determine what is or is not appropriate use of his image/memory. That’s not how it works! The Farley family definitely has the market cornered on whether or not the Farley family gets offended by a particular use of Chris Farley’s image or memory, but that’s about as far as it goes. Because if people see this ad and think “that was in poor taste,” then for those people it was in poor taste, and it doesn’t matter that someone who loved him and/or is living off of residual checks from his estate thinks that cashing in is OK. So, NO, Direct TV, we should not look to the Farley family for the final word on whether or not we as independent human beings with emotional agency of our own and the ability to decide for ourselves what we think is or is not appropriate think about this ad. Not to mention the INSULT of being told by anyone that this is a great way to honor someone’s memory. Because it’s not. Obviously. This is one of the very worst ways to honor someone’s memory.

And also SHUT UP, DIRECT TV! You stay out of this. You should not be talking right now. You should just be sitting in your industrial office park out past the highway with your sausage fingers crossed, hoping that no one notices that you are literally ROLLING PEOPLE IN THEIR GRAVES in order to sign up a few new subscribers.

YUCK on this.

You can watch the original ad here. (Thanks for the tip, Luke.)

Comments (57)
  1. Buh-Bye, Direct TV.
    I think their brains are covered by a thick candy shell, do you know what I am saying?
    Holy shnikeys.

  2. I agree that this is a tasteless form of advertising but can we really blame David Spade. Back when it was Fred Astaire and a vacuum we should have put a stop to it. Now it’s too late. Our world is funded by advertisements. If Farley was still alive I’m sure he would have made the same choice in order to get an easy payday. I mean, I’m not saying he would have killed himself in order to make the ad possible, but I’m sure he would have done away with David Spade for the job.

    • Of course we can blame David Spade. Sure, it would be nice to get in our time machines, go back in time (and KH!) and stop greenscreen Fred Astaire from hawking vacuums, but in the meantime, let’s tackle the matter at hand. Rather than speculate about what Farley would’ve thought about this (or allow Farley’s family to speculate from atop their gigantic piles of cash), let’s all just agree that David Spade is a serious Shake Weight and move on.

    • i blame david spade for everything. health care not free? david spade. fell down a flight of stairs? david spade. dropped your toast jam-side down? david fucking spade.

  3. Are you maybe taking this all a bit too personally?

    • I would say yes. As Gabe said in the article though, outrage is a personal thing, so to each his own.

      Chris Farley was awesome, but I don’t really see the offense here, especially considering the Farley family’s approval. They didn’t change Farley’s appearance or dialog, so the original content remains intact. Granted, I’d be offended if they had someone dub Farley’s voice and CGI’d his mouth to hawk Direct TV, even with the Farley family’s approval, but that’s not the case. They just showed a funny part of a funny movie and edited Spade’s part.

    • yeah, i have absolutely no problem with this.

      an entire generation of people watching TV might not know anything about chris farley, and this might inspire them to watch his movies for the first time.

      i wasn’t ever a fan of his, but i would imagine that having his name and face out there again, so many years after his tragic, untimely (though not unforeseen) death, is probably pretty exciting for his family and friends.

      we are all entitled to become outraged at whatever we feel warrants it, definitely, but i’ll save my outrage for those pieces of shit that gang-raped that girl outside homecoming in richmond, ca. fucking passersby joined in and/or watched without reporting it. THAT warrants outrage.

  4. I have it on good authority that while the ghost of Chris Farley was behind the idea of a Direct TV commercial, he was very set on using a scene from Beverly Hills Ninja. Shame on you, Direct TV. Shame on you.

  5. the families of patrick swayze and chris farley should re-run that SNL Chippendale’s sketch. bah.

  6. Well, this clinches it. I am firing my emotional agency of record and hiring Gabe. Welcome aboard, Mr. Paltrow. Please let me know how I should feel about this turn of events.

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Wow dude, thats seriously harsh. He was a sweetheart of a person, he just had a big problem with drugs and his money didn’t help him.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • I thought he was funny. You didn’t. Move on indeed.

        • You gots to chillllllllll ram rod. If you didn’t think the man was funny, fine. Your shtick of “I only have empathy and feeling for those whom I know directly” is pretty clear and banal but I think your ‘analysis’ of his career and intentions is in incredibly poor taste. And by poor I mean odious.
          Also, you talk like your display pic’s countenance. PEAAAAAAACE.

          • This has nothing to do with empathy. He’s been dead for years. Clearly his family and friends, who were actually hurt by his death, have moved on and are not hurt by this ad. One would imagine, therefore, that his fans, who I have no doubt were shocked 12 years ago at his death, have probably moved on as well and are not unduly hurt by this ad either. So “empathy” isn’t really relevant. Nobody was harmed. Everybody is fine. Except arguably Farley’s legacy, but like I said, I don’t really think an unfunny ad reflects all that poorly on his career.

          • i guess the problem is that they may not be hurt by this ad because the estate is cashing in on this ad.
            “I thought the ad was great! Always good to remember Chris.” – Family member to bank teller.

    • Farley made some bad movies, but he could be very funny. I really don’t think it’s possible to watch the original Matt Foley sketch without laughing (written by Bob Odenkirk):


  8. I’m still watching “Friday Night Lights” on DirecTV tomorrow night. Alright, beer wolves?

  9. It was bad enough when Audrey Hepburn’s corpse was dancing around like a marionette for Gap pants, but in this commercial we have a live human being “acting” along to blame.

    That human being is David Spade and I agree that he should be making a statement, not his fucking publicist, especially since his publicist is only putting 30% as much food on his mansion as Spade is over this gross display…

  10. I would just like to know how it got to be “the thing to do” to appear on DirectTV ads. It’s every celebritard’s favorite cashcow lately.

  11. Because Tommy Boy was such a sterling example of uncompromised independent spirit.

  12. I thought your skin was tougher than this Gabe. It’s too soon, that’s it.


    You watched that and weren’t offended because it clearly isn’t too soon.

  13. I’m surprised that this is the first DirctTv ad that’s making people angry. Remember when Naomi Watts was an oscar nominated actress who was doing some of the most interesting, dynamic dramatic projects out there? (Mulholland Drive, 21 Grams) and then did a DirectTV ad where King Kong blows wind in her face? Yikes, how about Sigourney Weaver getting airbrushed within an inch of her life to look like Ripley in Aliens again? This David Spade ad is the biggest and most obvious “thing that makes you sad” in a long line of things that have been making me continually sad.

  14. Selling dead celebrities’ images is hell of lucrative. I saw it on 60 Minutes recently. It is extra weird to think about how Chris Farley’s agent is profiting from this.

    • Yes, but it’s pleasing to think that Chris Farley’s agent got more money from this than Kevin Farley’s agent got from An American Carol.

  15. Yeah, I mean when we can’t look to David Spade and families of dead celebrities as figures of integrity the world is is in real trouble. David Spade, jeez, that guy is like the Fugazi of Hollywood or where ever they film whatever show he’s on now if he is in fact on a show now.

  16. Well, I’ve had 12 years or so to process this loss… so, yeah… commercials suck for the living and the dead, but I think I’m over it.
    It’s like when people were freaking out over the Nirvana guy being in that video game. So? It’s 15 years, and so far as I know he’s not REALLY in the videogame.
    In the 80s were people freaking when they put Jimi’s face on a t-shirt? Was that a thing that really bothered people? In the old days?
    All this tells me is maybe I shouldn’t proceed with my line of Soupy Sales tie-dyes.

    • “The Nirvana guy”…um you mean Kurt Cobain? I still think it’s just creepy to play along with a virtual embodiment of someone who committed suicide. Also the fanboys/girls kinda side with the fact that he was so anti-capitalism despite being one himself in the end…whatever I’m not Dr. Grunge here.

      • he was also probably against the kind of idolatry that causes people to flip out over a videogame.
        of course he wouldn’t have signed off on it if he were alive. i mean, i guess. people change. but it’s not sacrilege; he was a famous dude who wrote some good songs (and was really good at covering great songs), so i’m going to save my indignation for stuff that matters.

    • And just recently there was a whole Rock Band game featuring the Beatles guy.

  17. Here Comes the Meatwagon For Your Career, David Spade, You Lousy Fuck.

  18. I just hope DirectTV has the wisdom and taste to respect the legacy of the late Soupy Sales.

  19. Dude, it would be awesome if Cobain were REALLY in the video game.

  20. You’re right, directTV, the spot WAS “a great to tribute to Chris.”
    Also, that’s Mr. Farley to you.

  21. RELAX, Bill Hicks.

  22. Ad exec #1: What’s our next iconic movie scene reboot going to be?
    Ad exec #2: The end of Old Yeller?
    Ad exec #1: Nah, too sad.
    Ad exec #3: Maverick laying Charlie in Top Gun?
    Ad exec #1: No, too gay.
    Ad exec #2: Fat guy in a little coat from Tommy Boy? Well… I take it back, that’s too disrespectful.
    Ad exec #3: Yeah, I was gonna say…
    Ad exec #1: No way! That’s perfect! Get David Spade on the phone, he owes me for lunch at Burger King. Also, call the Henson puppet workshop. Do we have grave-diggers contracted yet? We damn well should by now! Do you have any idea how much 2009 will help us sell satellite TV packages and Windows operating systems?!!

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  24. I”m going to get some flack but I’m just going to say it.

    There are bigger things to worry about than David Spade making a few bucks off of an old movie. Farley would have done the same had the tables turned.

    • Yeah, there are bigger things to worry about, like the high rate of female soldiers being raped by other officers in the U.S. Army right now but, y’know, DirecTV didn’t make a commercial about that and this is Videogum.

    • Yea, it’s a bit self-righteousgum this morning. as we all know it can get. (I moved to LA recently, it’s still morning). But i will say this, the first time i saw the ad, before Gabe picked up on it, i was like, that doesn’t seem right. I wasn’t freaking out about it or anything, but for many of us of a certain age, that was a pretty shocking death when it happened. I would assume it would have been more shocking for the Farley Family and David, but still, why chance it, Direct TV? You’re supposed to sell satelite dishes, not make me think about posthumous right to publicity.

  25. As if enough has been said on the matter,
    I think this commercial is less about “Chris farley’s legacy” and more about just a recognizably funny scene from a recognizably funny movie. in that it succeeded. after all, it’s David spade breaking the fourth wall and selling the product, not the ghost of Farley (that would be a good teen-punk band name, btw)

  26. Couldn’t they have just reedited a scene from Just Shoot Me?

  27. Why do you have such a huge fucking problem with this Gabe? Sure, it is pretty low to use dead celebrities to hock your merchandise, but its really not that big of a deal to go on a huge rant about it. I think you are the only person who took such deep offense to this ad. get over it

  28. David Spade’s best role was on Curb Your Enthusiasm a few weeks ago. And that’s because he was only in it for 2 seconds, while he was spotted by Larry David through binoculars, a full basketball court away, and he kept his god damned whiney mouth shut.

  29. I don’t like these DirecTV commercials because they are stupid, not because they might not be paying homage to some celebrity’s “legacy.” The Naomi Watts one was almost funny, though, because it was a shit commercial imitating a scene from a hugely shit movie.

    As to whether this is insulting to the Farley legend, I’m going to rule in favor of Spade on this one. Farley was his BFF. I’m okay with Spade being the executor of the Farley commedy continuum, which, I have to confess, only consisted of “Tommy Boy” for me. I never liked Farley other than in this film. Sorry!

    The Minutemen said it best: “Let the products sell themselves, fuck advertising and commercial psychology, psychological methods to sell should be destroyed.”

  30. It’s somehow appropriate that this shit showed up in a thread where someone referred to Chris Farley’s career as an unfunny cash-grab. And also, I’d like to go on the record in saying that I still think Tommy Boy is funny and heart-warming.

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