Adam Sandler paid tribute to his friend and former costar Chris Farley, who died in 1997 at age 33

By Rachel DeSantis
May 05, 2019 11:15 AM

Adam Sandler returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend with an emotional tribute to his late friend and SNL costar Chris Farley.

Sandler took the stage at Studio 8H for the first time in 24 years with a guitar in hand to sing a song dedicated to Farley, who died in December 1997 of a drug overdose at age 33.

The song made reference to many of Farley’s popular SNL sketches, including his hysterical character that lived “in a van down by the river,” dressing as Bumblebee Girl, and performing as a Chippendales dancer with Patrick Swayze.

“First time he saw me was sweeter than honey/ Plaid jacket and belt too tight, and he wasn’t even being funny/ Then he cartwheeled around the room and slow danced with a cleaning lady/ He was a one-man party,” Sandler sang, as photos of Farley played in a slideshow behind him.

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Both Farley and the Big Daddy actor, 52, joined the cast in the early ‘90s, and both were fired from the show in 1995, an event Sandler jokingly addressed with another song in his opening monologue.

Sandler’s poignant Farley tribute addressed the worry he felt for his friend over his wild lifestyle, and made reference to former SNL stars John Belushi and John Candy, who died at 33 and 43, respectively.

“We’d tell him slow down, you’ll end up like Belushi and Candy, he said, ‘Those guys are my heroes, that’s all fine and dandy,’ ” Sandler sang.

Chris Farley, Adam Sandler
Will Heath/NBC

The comedian choked back tears as he sang about “the last big hang” he had with Farley at Tim Meadows’ wedding party in July 1997.

“We laughed all night long because of Farley/ But a few months later the party came to an end/ We flew out to Madison to bury our friend,” he sang.

He continued, “Yeah I miss hanging out/ Watching you try to get laid/ But most of all I miss watching you torture [David] Spade/ You’re a legend how you want it, but I still wish you were here with me/ And we were getting on a plane to shoot Grown Ups 3.”

Chris Farley, Adam Sandler

Sandler previously shared the tribute song to his friend on the 21st anniversary of Farley’s death in December by posting a clip to Facebook from his Netflix special Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh, which featured him singing it.

Meanwhile, Sandler also showed off his voice on Saturday’s episode with the return of his character Opera Man.

The character, who sings the news as if it were an opera, appeared on Weekend Update to riff on everything from Game of Thrones and the Kentucky Derby to President Trump and the “70-year-old men” (Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden) running against him in the upcoming election.

“So very long since I’ve been around – ah. 24 years and 24 pounds – ah!” he sang. “So glad to be back now I get a snack. Opera Man – bye bye!!”