The PJ Tatler

Salute to Newt: Chris Farley's Impersonation on House Floor Celebrating 1994 Speaker's First 100 Days

With John Boehner expiring, Kevin McCarthy reshelved, and Drudge touting Sean Hannity’s interview courting Newt Gingrich as the next speaker of the House (again), a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires a brief review of Chris Farley as Newt.

On Tuesday, April 4, 1995, the House Republican Conference celebrated the Republican majority’s first 100 days in office by bringing in a special guest speaker–as the speaker. A young John Boehner, then-chairman of the Republican Conference, opened the session by introducing Speaker Gingrich. But as the real Newt took the podium, an imposter entered the room, to much applause, and displaced him.

Chris Farley, who used to parody Newt Gingrich on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, began his remarks by showing off a few books he was reading and wished to recommend, including Danielle Steel’s “Chances” and Jackie Collins’ “Hollywood Husbands.”

Among the official business conducted under Speaker Farley:

  • Passing the famous Contract with America, without counting votes, or opening the Contract from its sealed manila envelope.
  • Declaring all Democrats “officially weird.”
  • Prevailing upon Congressman Sonny Bono to take the podium and sing “I Got You, Newt.”

When the real Newt was permitted to join Farley on the floor, the latter administered to the former a new speaker’s oath containing two notable pledges: “not to kill Big Bird,” and that Gingrich’s next book would “be way less boring than Al Gore’s.”

The oath concluded with a promise to see “Tommy Boy,” starring Chris Farley.

If, in a bizarre twist of fate, circumstances should conspire to reinstate Newt Gingrich as speaker, he will have to go it alone. Chris Farley died in 1997.