Five Great Chris Farley ‘SNL’ Sketches That Don’t Involve Matt Foley
For better or worse, the 1990s were the golden age of Saturday Night Live recurring characters — from Wayne and Garth to the Spartan Cheerleaders to the Makin’ Copies Guy. Chris Farley was no exception, playing the bespectacled Matt Foley in no fewer than eight sketches. But Farley deserves to be remembered for more than one hyperactive motivational speaker. Here are five more fantastically funny Farley sketches that don’t involve a van down by the river…
As you might have heard, Farley had a gift for physical comedy. The premise of this sketch appears to be a budding romantic rivalry between Farley and George Clooney, but it soon becomes a vehicle for “How much water can we dump on the Wisconsin boy?” Kudos to the technical crew for finding ways to practically drown an increasingly angry Farley while leaving everyone else relatively high and dry.
Just like his hero John Belushi two decades earlier, Farley was a natural to play the Incredible Hulk. While Belushi’s version was a party animal who stunk up the bathroom with his gamma-radiation-enhanced excrement, Farley’s was unexpectedly erudite, donning reading glasses to deliver a heartfelt, articulate Superman eulogy. And like Superman, he became someone different without the spectacles — let’s just say Hulk smash things. Bonus comedy points for Farley silently and reverently flexing his pecs as he approaches Superman’s coffin.
Hidden Camera Commercials
You didn’t think Farley could do subtle? Watch the grim realization slooooowly come over his face as he discovers someone slipped him a cup of decaf when he wasn’t looking. Let me step back and say Farley starts subtle before this entire sketch descends into a massive pie fight.
Japanese Game Show
Okay, we have to get past Mike Myers and friends doing the Japanese characters, but unlike Dana Carvey’s Ching Chang, doing silly Asian accents isn’t the joke here. The butt of the gag is Farley’s Larry Templeton, a confused tourist from — where else? — Wisconsin who finds himself on a game show in which he doesn’t speak the language. It’s a gamut of emotions, from befuddled embarrassment to surprised jubilation to an out-and-out horror show. A Farley tour de force.
The Chris Farley Show with Paul McCartney
When Farley passed away, SNL producer Mike Shoemaker was tasked with the unenviable job of choosing a sketch to give out to the media. “I remember sitting in Marci Klein’s office, crying and thinking, what sketch would Chris want us to use?” Shoemaker says in The Chris Farley Show: A Biography In Three Acts. “I picked ‘The Chris Farley Show’ with Paul McCartney.”
“We were just dying,” says Alec Baldwin. “We couldn’t believe how perfect it was. How hard is it to make Beatlemania funny again? How hard is it to make gooing over McCartney funny? We didn’t know if that would work. But Chris came on, and we were sobbing with laughter it was so funny.”