Chris Farley's Message from the Grave
The comedian's face will be used to advertise treatment for drug addiction
An image of the funnyman, who died of a drug overdose, will grace billboards advertising treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, report news sources.
The ads, the first of which went up Monday, April 3 on Sunset Boulevard, feature a photo of the smiling comic alongside the slogan, "It wasn't all his fault." It's placed near the Chateau Marmont, where Farley's idol, comedian John Belushi, died of a drug overdose in 1982.
The billboard is advertising Hythiam, Inc.'s new addiction treatment. The company is in talks to other estates to use images of additional dead celebrities. Hythiam paid Farley's family $25,000 for the right to use his image.
Farley was a popular "Saturday Night Live" alum known for his various characters including a blustering motivational speaker who threatened kids that they'd end up like him, "living in a van down by the river." His high-energy antics and party lifestyle drew comparisons to Belushi.
Farley's excessive substance abuse affected his career when "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels asked him to leave the show and go into rehab. The comic had a year left on his contract, but was let go when the cast was shuffled. When he returned seven years later as host, he was noticeably struggling with his health and alarmed his best friend David Spade, who was often his comic partner on screen.
In December 1997, Farley was discovered dead in Chicago from and accidental overdose of morphine and cocaine. He was 33.