It’s hard to believe that it’s been 21 years since Chris Farley died. He was one of a kind, big and boisterous, an irrepressible comedian who could make anyone laugh, whether he was cracking a dopey one-liner or heaving his body into some ridiculous stunt. But as we all know, behind that comedic genius was a dark side. Farley struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and in 1997, at the age of 33, he died of an overdose, keeping up that tragic tradition of young and talented stars who left us too soon.
Chris Farley and I started at Second City on the same day. You knew the minute you saw him on stage he was great. He was sweet and smart and funny. When I heard he had died, 21 years ago today, I fell to the ground. Rest In Peace.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) December 19, 2018
Oh, Tommy Boy. Before Farley hit it big on the big screen, he got his start on Saturday Night Live. He debuted in 1990 with Adam Sandler, and they, David Spade, Chris Rock and Rob Schneider ended up reviving SNL, making it one of the best eras of the series. Farley and Sandler’s run on the sketch show would last five years, and their friendship seemed destined to last forever. Until it didn’t.
Sandler still fondly remembers his old pal, and in his recent comedy special, Sandler offers up his musical appreciation for “the funniest guy I ever knew.” The song honestly breaks down Farley’s self-destructive streak, which doesn’t exactly sound like a barrel of laughs — yet, somehow it is. Sandler balances the sombre content with his trademark humour, making it both playful and touching, all while footage of Farley plays behind him.
We all miss you, bud. https://t.co/Qd5p7px5Ch
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) December 18, 2018
Throughout the heartbreaking song, the camera pans across the rows of people taking it all in, remembering Farley, feeling for Sandler, and it’s truly a beautiful thing. Basically, Sandler honoured his friend in the most perfect way and we’ll never forget it. Thanks, Adam. And Chris, you are forever missed.