Hear Chris Farley Voice Shrek in Rare Footage - Rolling Stone
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Hear Chris Farley Voice Shrek in Rare Footage

Comedian had recorded almost all dialogue for hit animated film prior to 1997 death

Audio of Chris Farley voicing Shrek, the titular ogre from the DreamWorks animated franchise, has surfaced on YouTube. The uploader, user “Bedhead Bernie,” attributes its origins to John Garbett, a producer who briefly worked on the film.

The clip arrived not long after Farley’s brother, Kevin, told Yahoo! that the comedian had recorded almost all of his dialogue for Shrek prior to his death from a drug overdose in 1997. “Originally, the Shrek character was a little bit more like Chris, like a humble, bumbling innocent guy,” Kevin said.

The audio now available highlights Kevin’s description, as Farley fends off the prying Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy), who’s trying to figure out why the ogre wants to help Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Though Farley is gruff and stubborn at first, he begins to taper back after a hilariously Freudian explosion about his parents, revealing the soft, sweet core at the center of his proverbial onion (or parfait).

Shrek, of course, was ultimately voiced by another Saturday Night Live alum, Mike Meyers, who gave the ogre a Scottish brogue. The film was a huge hit, spawning four movies with a fifth is reportedly in the works, per DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Considering the DreamWorks’ franchise ambitions for Shrek, Kevin Farley said he didn’t begrudge the studio for recasting the character. “The studio needed to do what they needed to do,” he said. “It was a bad time, bad timing… a tragedy. Mike did a great job with Shrek. He knocked it out of the park.”

Kevin Farley appears in and executive produced the new documentary, I Am Chris Farley, which explores the comedian’s life and career. The Brent Hodge and Derik Murray-directed film arrives on VOD August 11th.

In This Article: Chris Farley


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