What Chris Farley’s last appearance on SNL was really like

On December 18, 1997, Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment after a drug and alcohol overdose. Farley was only 33 at the time, yet his death came as no shock to his close friends and family. In “Live From New York,” Bob Odenkirk and Chris Rock describe the last times they saw Farley and felt his fate was inevitable. Others, like Robert Smigel, described the immense guilt they felt for not being able to help their friend through his struggles.

E! news reported that Farley’s funeral was held two days before Christmas, with guests including Chris Rock, Lorne Michaels and Dan Aykroyd. David Spade, Farley’s frequent collaborator in television and film, did not take part in the negotiations. Later, while a Reddit AMA, He explained that he felt too emotionally distraught after his friend’s death. Despite Farley’s tragic death, his legacy in the comedy world remains untouched. Many of Farley’s friends and associates appeared in the documentary I Am Chris Farley, which was released in 2015.

In retrospect, many of those employees have expressed dislike for Farley’s career path. One of Farley’s most famous sketches, “Chippendale’s”, was criticized by former “Saturday Night Live” writers and cast members for psychologically damaging Farley’s self-image. Even Robert Smigel regretted that at the end of the original Matt Foley sketch (via The New Yorker).

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration website or contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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