In the 1980s, I lived near a tiny theater in downtown Madison called Ark Improv. A comedian named Chris Farley performed in this converted garage, and the place seemed way too small for him. He was a big guy with a big personality, inclined to slam into walls.
Farley had grown up in Madison. He struggled with substance-abuse problems at Marquette University, then drifted back home to work for his dad's oil company. There, he displayed a talent for making customers laugh. One day he turned up at Ark Improv, convinced that a career in comedy could be his salvation.
On the anniversary of Farley's death in 1997, check out this audio commentary on his journey from Ark to Saturday Night Live, and finally back home again to a west-side cemetery. It originally aired on Wisconsin Public Radio's Wisconsin Life.