Adam Sandler pays tribute to Chris Farley on ‘Saturday Night Live’
Adam Sandler’s “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut was full of callbacks to his time on the show. He sang his opening monologue. He was greeted by SNL cast members and alums attempting some of his most famous characters in an entertaining, if predictable, sketch. And he brought back his beloved Opera Man during Weekend Update.
But Sandler saved the most poignant echo of his SNL days for the end of the show. Instead of the usual wacky sketch, SNL dimmed the lights so that Sandler could pay musical tribute to his late friend, Chris Farley.
Sandler and Farley, who died of a drug overdose in 1997, were on “Saturday Night Live” together in the early 1990s. They, along with Chris Rock and David Spade, shared an office. And as Sandler revealed in his musical monologue, he and Farley were also fired from the show around the same time.
Sandler’s tribute will be familiar to anyone who has seen his Netflix comedy special, “100% Fresh,” which was released in October. The well-received special intersperses Sandler’s stand-up with his trademark musical humor. In a particularly earnest moment, Sandler plays the guitar while singing about Farley.
Sandler cracks jokes throughout the song, which remembers Farley as a “a one-man party” who “would always deliver” on “SNL.” The lyrics allude to Farley’s struggle with drugs and alcohol, but they also point to lesser-known details about the comedian, who died at 33. Farley, who was Catholic, “always showed up to morning Mass,” Sandler said, even though he would often be hungover from drinking heavily after taping “SNL.”
At one point, Sandler remembers the time he saw Farley “in the office with his headphones on, crying and listening to a KC and the Sunshine Band song.”
“I said, ‘Buddy, how the hell is that making you so sad?’
“Then he laughed and said, ‘Just thinkin’ about my dad.’ “
As in Sandler’s Netflix special, “SNL” displayed images of Farley on a large screen, recalling his energetic presence on stage and in movies such as the cult favorite 1995 comedy “Tommy Boy.” A few of the song’s lyrics were tweaked to be network TV-friendly for “SNL’s” broadcast.
But the sentiment remained the same.
“You’re a legend how you wanted, but I still wish you were here with me, and we were getting on a plane to shoot ‘Grown Ups 3,’ ” Sandler sang. “Yeah, life ain’t the same without you, boy.”