Comedian and actor Chris Farley, a mainstay of the mid-1990 Saturday Night Live cast that included fellow “bad boys” Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider and David Spade, died 20 years ago today of an overdose of cocaine and morphine. He was 33.
Farley’s best-known SNL characters often played on Farley’s size — he was well over 200 pounds — and manic, raging energy but also depended on an underlying sensitivity.
Among the best-known of those were Weekend Update commentator Bennett Brauer; over-the-top motivational speaker Matt Foley, who was constantly reminding people he lived in a van down by the river; a teen girl who worked at the Gap; one of the Bill Swerski Superfans whose catchphrase was “da Bears!”; and a shirtless Chippendales dancer in a bit that paired him with buff guest host Patrick Swayze.
After his SNL stint, which ran from 1990 to 1995, Farley starred in two films with fellow SNL alum Spade — Tommy Boy and Black Sheep — and the solo-starring vehicle Beverly Hill Ninja, before his death, December 18, 1997 at his apartment in Chicago.