Revisit Adam Sandler’s heartbreaking musical tribute to his friend Chris Farley
At a time when millions of people are forced to remain home amid strict social distancing measures, we’re dipping back into the Far Out Magazine vault to remember some of our favourite moments.
With live music and stand up comedy shows nothing but a distant memory at the moment, we’re looking back at a wonderful moment Adam Sandler paid tribute to his late friend Chris Farley on the 21st anniversary of his tragic death.
Farley, often regarded as one of the greatest comics of his generation by those in the industry, died after a drug overdose in 1997. He was just 33 years old. Farley sought treatment for his battle against drugs on numerous different occasions but an autopsy revealed he died of a ‘speedball’ concoction of cocaine and morphine and was found dead by his brother.
Sandler, who was close friends with Farley, used a Netflix special of ‘100% Fresh’ to pay a touching tribute to, as he describes, “the funniest guy I ever knew.”
In his tribute, Sandler doesn’t shy away from the darker sides of Farley’s life and mixes his lyrics with highlights of Farley’s carer which focuses heavily on his contribution to NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live between 1990 and 1995.
“I had to mentally get ready because when I was singing the Farley song in the studio in rehearsals, I kept getting really upset,” Sandler said in an interview with the ‘Dan Patrick Show’.
“I couldn’t really sing it out loud. I was kind of mumbling because his image and stuff was making me off and upset,” he said about the rehearsals. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I got to prepare for this — for the show — to try not to break down.'”
Fittingly though, Sandler’s sentiment remained present as he sings: “I wish Chris Farley was alive so he could be in Grown Ups 3.”
Here’s the tribute:
During his time on SNL, Farley regularly collaborated with Sandler and fellow cast members Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade — hence the Spade reference in the song.
As well as becoming close friends, the aforementioned list of names became known as the ‘Bad Boys of SNL’. It was part of this group that Farley would perform a host of his now-iconic comedic characters, none more popular than the motivational speaker Matt Foley who would constantly, without fail, remind everybody that he “lived in a van, down by the river.”
While on-screen Farley and Sandler’s friendship blossomed, off-screen the pair were inseparable. The duo became infamous for their incessant late-night prank phone calls from the SNL offices in Rockefeller Center. Rumour has it that Sandler would put on an old woman’s voice while Farley fared down the phone.
Famously though, Farley is well known for having filmed around 85% as the voice of the title character in the incredibly popular animated film Shrek but tragically died before filming had finished. Shrek’s dialogue was re-recorded by Mike Myers.
A TV documentary on Farley’s life, I Am Chris Farley, was shown to huge applause in 2015 such is the comedic legacy he left behind.