It has been 25 years since the release of Tommy Boy, one of the most beloved and quoted comedies of all time. While director Peter Segal reflected back on the movie earlier this year, David Spade chatted with Rob Lowe about their experience on it, as well, on Lowe’s podcast, Literally!
As Lowe tells it, he got the movie while playing tennis with Lorne Michaels after the success of Wayne’s World. Lowe also shared that he went to dinner with Spade and Farley one night during the shoot, and Chris Farley ate “two bone-in steaks, and on top of each bite, he put a full-square of butter on every single bite.”
“It needs a hat!” Farley had said.
During the shooting of the film, there was also a huge blowout fight between Farley and Spade that Spade relays on the podcast. The famous Tommy Boy fight was actually about Rob Lowe. At the time, Farley and Spade were spending every minute of the day together, flying from SNL to the set of Tommy Boy in Toronto together on a private jet. They would spend the entire week flying back and forth between Toronto and New York. Unlike today, when a cast member like Pete Davidson can take off a week to attend a fashion show or shoot a movie, “We couldn’t get off a full week of SNL on a movie that Lorne Michaels was producing,” Spade said.
The travel and work schedule was difficult. Spade was losing weight; Farley was gaining weight. He was “eating all the time,” and “we were all burned out. We were both fu*king dying. It’s like an old married couple; we’re fu*king fighting all the time. We were never apart.”
One night, after leaving NYC for Toronto, they arrived around 1 a.m. for a 6 a.m. shoot. Farley said to Spade, “I”m feeling sick. I think I have the flu or something. I’m going to go and crash.” Meanwhile, Spade stayed up a little longer and called Rob Lowe, and they had one drink at the hotel bar. “We don’t tell Farley. Because of course we don’t. We see him every godf*cking day,” Spade said.
The next day, Spade went to his room, and Farley was already gone. When Spade got to set, however, Farley started staring at him, “biting his lip, which meant they we’re about to have a fight. That was his tell.”
“And he looks at me,” Spade said, “and he asks, ‘How was your night? How was Rob Lowe?'”
Somehow, Farley had heard that Spade and Rob Lowe were hanging out the night before, and he got angry that he wasn’t invited. “How’s Rob Lowe?” Farley asked again. “How’s your precious f*cking Rob Lowe?”
“I don’t know,” Spade said to him.
“How was drinks last night,” Farley countered.
“Oh, is that what we’re getting at?” Spade asked. “It was fine. It was all right.”
“So, you call f*cking Rob Lowe, so you can have a little date with him, but you don’t call me?” Farley asked.
“The last word off the wire was that you were sick,” Spade said.
“So you called Rob Lowe?”
This went on for a while, and when the returned to set, Farley was still furious with Spade, glaring at him while smoking. At some point, Spade was outside, freezing, and sitting on the ground eating a tuna fish sandwich. Farley was standing over him, smoking a cigarette. “How’s Rob Lowe?” Farley repeated.
When Spade didn’t take the bait — “he can’t stand that it’s not going anywhere” — Farley came over, and stood on Spade’s hand, on his tuna sandwich “with his big f*cing boots, with all his thousands of pounds.” Then Spade threw a Diet Coke on Farley, and Farley in turn pushed Spade down a small set of stairs. When Spade got to the bottom, “I stand up and say, ‘Are we in a fight?’ And the [director says on the walkie-talkie], ‘Action!’ and [Farley and I] just stare at each other, and we turn and we walk in.”
When they get back on set, Spade couldn’t bring himself to say his line, so he just walked off the set in a huff, and both he and Farley retreated to their respective trailers. Spade insisted that the set would be shut down for days, because “I’m not talking to this a**hole forever.” Meanwhile, Farley went out and literally tackled a crew member who was about his size because he had so much anger. “He was so mad, he just went up and tackled him.”
The fight, of course, didn’t last forever. Amends were eventually made, and Farley and Spade of course remained friends. “Look, we had a blast,” Spade said. “All my memories of Tommy Boy were fun. It was stressful. It was hard. You wish you could enjoy how much the movie will be remembered at the time. But Tommy Boy, I hear about more than any other movie … We had greats seats for Farley, so I love it. I’m just glad to be a part of something.”
And we are collectively glad for Tommy Boy. It’s just a shame about that tuna sandwich.
Source: Literally! with Rob Lowe