Sandler closed out the May 4 episode with the touching performance in honor of Farley, who died of a drug overdose in December 1997 at the age of 33. Farley and Sandler were both cast members of “Saturday Night Live” until they were fired from the show in 1995, according to ABC News.
“First time I saw him, he was sweeter than honey,” Sandler began the tribute. “Plaid jacket and belt too tight, and he wasn’t even being funny.”
Clips of Farley in SNL sketches ran on a screen in the background, while Sandler highlighted shared moments.
“Then he cartwheeled around the room and slow danced with the cleaning lady, he was a one-man party. You know who I’m talking about, I’m talking about my friend Chris Farley.”
The song hailed Farley’s comedic prowess.
“On Saturday night my man would always deliver, whether he was Bumblebee Girl or living in a van down by the river,” Sandler sang, in reference to characters played by Farley. “Without him, there would be no Lunch Lady in Lunch Lady Land, you know I’m thinking about, I’m thinking about my boy Chris Farley.”
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 5, 2019
Sandler told The Daily Beast in 2014 he still doesn’t know why he and Farley were fired from the show in 1995.
“Yes, we were [fired],” Sandler told the news outlet. “We kind of quit at the same time as being fired. It was the end of the run for us. … It hurt a lot at the time because we were young and didn’t know where we were going, but it all worked out.”
Sandler went on to star in many Hollywood feature films, including Big Daddy and Grown Ups, which each grossed over $160 million at the box office.
Farley featured in hits of his own, starring in Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, and Beverly Hills Ninja, each of which brought in over $60 million in adjusted gross revenue.
Sandler on Saturday poked fun at the network for letting him go all those years ago: “NBC said I was done. Then I made over $4 billion at the box office, so I guess you could say I won.”
Farley was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2005.
“I think it’s sweet that everyone still has a real nice place in their hearts for him, they still remember him,” said actor-comedian David Spade, who appeared with Farley on SNL.
“He goes down as one of the greats. And I still think about him every day,” Spade said at the time, according to Today.
Farley’s star was the walk’s 2,289th.
Sandler and SNL legend Chris Rock also attended the ceremony.
“I think every fat comedian owes him 80 bucks that’s working today,” Rock said at the time, according to Today.
“Life ain’t the same without you,” Sandler sang in Saturday’s tribute. “If we make enough noise, maybe he’ll hear us.”