The actress, then famous for her role on the hit Fox sitcom Married … with Children, first took center stage at 30 Rock in 1993. Chris Farley, who was rising through the ranks as one of the cast’s funniest and most outrageous members, had finally convinced show creator Lorne Michaels to let him perform one of his favorite characters – a persona he had created while doing improv at the famed Second City in Chicago.
“I remember Lorne Michaels saying to me, apologetic in a way, like, ‘He has this character he’s really been wanting to do on this show, we’re not sure what it is,’ ” Applegate, 43, remembers in this exclusive clip from the upcoming documentary I Am Chris Farley.
That character was Matt Foley, the hyped-up motivational speaker who teaches kids how to “get back on the right track” by recounting his own personal horror stories.
“Nothing else compares,” Odenkirk says, “I was humbled.”
But when Farley, who never wrote a single sketch in his five-year career on SNL, talked Michaels into putting the “Motivational Speaker” character on the air, no one was prepared for the laughs the sketch ended up getting from the audience.
“Out comes Chris out of that door,” Applegate says. “We all just kind of stopped: ‘What is going on?’ ”
Everyone involved in the scene lost their composure – even SNL vet (and Farley’s close friend) David Spade couldn’t keep a straight face – but Applegate was especially caught off-guard.
She spent the majority of the sketch covering her face from the camera, shaking uncontrollably as Farley shouted at her about “living in a van down by the river.”
For more Farley memories from SNL greats like Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and Molly Shannon, check out I Am Chris Farley, which debuts on Spike TV on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will be available on home video and video-on-demand on Tuesday.