DirecTV Slammed for Ad Using Deceased Chris Farley

October 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)—DirecTV is taking some heat from Chris Farley fans, for reprising his popular dim-witted, but lovable character in “Tommy Boy” to sell subscriptions to its satellite TV service. Chris Farley died in 1997 from a drug overdose, but his “Tommy Boy” character is shown interacting with David Spade in a new ad. Critics of the ad denounced the use of the deceased Chris Farley, as “distasteful” and a “stupid idea.”

The ad features Farley’s character “Tommy Boy” Callahan III, sporting a tiny coat repeating the phrase, “fat guy in a little coat,” until the coat splits down his back. David Spade responds, “Never gets old.” and goes into his DirecTV pitch.

Many DirecTV ads feature actors reprising their famous movie roles, but this is the second ad using a deceased actor.

An ad based on the now classic movie, “Poltergeist” features Craig T. Nelson and footage of child actor, Heather O’Rourke uttering the now famous line, “They’re heeeeeere.” Unfortunately, Heather died tragically in 1988 at the age of 12.

Dead actors have been used before in TV ads, most recently in a Dirt Devil ad featuring Fred Astaire and a Coors Light ad making use of John Wayne. But the use of Chris Farley’s image just 12 years after his death, has struck a nerve with his fans.

There is the additional issue, with using a dead child actor, as in the “Poltergeist” spot, that doesn’t sit well with some viewers, although permission is obtained from the executor of the deceased’s will when dead actors are used.

Watch the Chris Farley spot:



One Response to “DirecTV Slammed for Ad Using Deceased Chris Farley”

  1. Jackie on October 27th, 2009 7:03 pm

    Yes, I thought it was extremely distasteful…..let the poor boy rest. Will these companies stop at nothing for a dollor?!

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