MADISON, Wis., Dec. 23 -- Friends and family of comedian Chris Farley praised him as 'the funniest man I ever knew' at a private funeral in his hometown. Farley was buried today in Madison, nearly a week after his body was found in his Chicago highrise.
Among the mourners were 'Saturday Night Live' producer Lorne Michaels, and comedians Dan Akroyd, Tom Arnold, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, George Wendt and Rob Schneider. Rock said, 'Chris was the funniest man I ever knew.' Despite wishes by the Farley family to keep the funeral 'low-key' and 'as private as possible,' dozens of reporters and cameramen massed outside Our Lady Queen of PeaceCatholic Church and four high school students, accompanied by a priest, attended the mass. Backed by a private security force hired by the family, Madison police prevented any members of the media from speaking with those attending the funeral. Farley grew up in Madison and attended Marquette University in nearby Milwaukee. The Rev. Wayne Watts, who lived in the same dorm as Farley when he attended Marquette, said that Farley 'was a man of faith...a great faith.' When asked what he could do for Farley's family, Bishop William Bullock said he would 'cry with them, offer some words of consolation.. .hope for them and eternal peace for Chris.' Farley was buried at Resurrection Cemetery, four miles from his Madison childhood church. Public tributes are being planned in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Farley's body was found by his brother, John, Thursday in Farley's 60th floor condominium in the John Hancock Center on Chicago's posh Michigan Avenue. The medical examiner's office says there's still no ruling on the cause of death and likely will not be one for another month. ---
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