Adam Sandler’s song tribute to the late Chris Farley is legitimately moving

2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards

For years there throughout the 1990s, Saturday Night Live enjoyed something of a Renaissance, especially with the “bros” of the show: Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and of course, Chris Farley. Farley passed away in 1997, and to this day, people still speak of his special brand of comedy, how he could light up a room, how he was one of the nicest guys in the world, how he could just stand there and get a laugh, but how he would throw his whole body into comedy. Farley was especially close to David Spade and Adam Sandler, and they still speak of him with a sort of grief-stricken awe.

Well, Sandler has a new stand-up special on Netflix called 100% Fresh. Towards the end of his set, he pulls out a guitar and sings a song that he wrote for Chris Farley. It’s actually…amazing? It’s touching and sad and bittersweet and devastating and funny. Somewhat NSFW for language.

Adam Sandler is 52 years old, and his friend Chris passed away 21 years ago. I get the feeling that Adam is still working through his grief. But it’s healthy and sweet – maybe one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen from Sandler. I teared up. Legit.

Archival Cinema Stills

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and WENN.

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48 Responses to “Adam Sandler’s song tribute to the late Chris Farley is legitimately moving”

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  1. JanetDR says:

    *sob* He was something else. Good job Adam.
    Something mean – why doesn’t Adam ever use his own voice? He was doing a country accent there, which is better than the little kid voice but still.

  2. Steff says:

    I watch the best of Chris Farley on SNL at least once a year. Everyone around him couldn’t keep a straight face when he was in a skit. I feel like the 90s SNL doesn’t get the respect they should. It was def my favorite SNL era.

    • girl_ninja says:

      You are so right. 90’s SNL was the best era. That cast had a chemistry and rhythm that was unmatched. And Farley was a damn comedic genius.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      that Chippendales skit with Patrick Swayze was LEGENDARY. I love how both he and Swayze committed to the skit so fully.

      Tommy Boy is still on my all-time favorite movie list.

      • Scal says:

        Was just going to say this. That skit with Swayze was the BEST, and still makes me laugh everytime I see it.

      • Mumbles says:

        I’ve read that that sketch actually affected Farley in the worst way. He was devastated at how people were laughing at him, not with him. According to a book about Farley, Chris Rock and Bob Odenkirk begged Farley not to do it.
        Sadly there was an element of that “fat guy minstrelry” in a lot of what Chris did. Matt Foley started out as a great idea but in later sketches they would end with Foley falling on something and breaking furniture.
        But his partnership with Sandler was always great. There was one sketch where they played an old couple and Farley (the wife) would just cheerfully read Zagat’s reviews as the husband (Sandler) complained. And then there was the “Herlihy boy”, with Sandler as a meek teenager asking for odd jobs while Farley would scream angrily asking why nobody was hiring him. What made them work was how much fun they were having doing them.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        Mumbles, I’m sorry to hear that about that sketch.

        I always felt like I wasn’t laughing AT HIM, but at what he was doing. because, as I said, he committed fully to the skit. he danced his ass off, not like he was the “fat guy joke”. so many people I know loved that, it’s sad to know how it affected him.

      • JanetDR says:

        Yes ,whatWhat? , Chris showed great dancing skills in that bit and I loved the way Patrick Swayze’s character reacted too. Total respect to Chris.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      Agreed, so many legends came from SNL in the 90′s. That’s when I watched as a teen and I loved it. I can’t think of too many that didn’t have success during that era.

  3. kellybean says:

    I must be the only person in the world that never liked Saturday Night Live or Chris Farley. I found him annoying, from what I have seen of him, which admittedly isn’t that much. I hate that manic type personality, though.

    • SamC says:

      Agree. I never got Sam Kinison either.. I liked Chris Farley in small doses on SNL but lots of the skits went on too long. Sandler, Spade and Farley did have great chemistry together though.

      • kellybean says:

        Maybe because I am a quiet, reserved introvert…and I don’t “get” people like to have all the attention.

    • Sunshine says:

      It’s ok to not get those who like attention. Doesn’t negate his personality, his worth, or his comedic genius and how passionately he was loved and is missed.

    • Nan says:

      @Kellybean. I hate SNL, and didn’t like Farley’s performance on any of the episodes. I fell completely in love with him and David Spade after watching Black Sheep and then Tommy Boy. Those are two really stupid comedies with amazing storylines. The first one he is trying to help his beloved brother win an election against a corrupt politician (some really great messages for youth and young adults in it!) And Tommy Boy is literally just Kinky Boots only with car parts instead of shoes. Two tremendously uplifting buddy comedies about loyalty to your friends, family, amd hometowns. Chris Farley could act really, really well in serious moments, and his intensity made him such a presense. If he had lived, I have no doubt he would have ended up with a potential Oscar nom for some serious role or other. I don’t think watching those movies would make you think he was funny, but I think it would make you realize why he was so loved. It wasn’t just slapstick and athletics. The boy really could act.

  4. H says:

    I cried. I still think think SNL was at its peak during the 70′s with Gilda, Dan, John and Jane, but the 90′s cast was also extremely talented.

  5. Smalltowngirl says:

    This is Adam Sandler at his best, stripped down like this, and the honest emotion is undeniable. His love, his grief, his admirations, regret, it’s all there. The big losses never really leave us and it’s apparent that Farley’s death left a big hole and I like that he’s sharing that grief, the bit about sharing Farley’s comedy with his kids, etc.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      I completely agree. I confess to having too much Adam Sandler in the 90s that by ’00 to ’05′ish, I couldn’t handle his brand of humor anymore. He refused maturity lol. But this is great. Some tragedies leave indelible marks, and I like what he’s done here. Sharing pain is quite hard.

      • Jess says:

        Oh my god refused maturity is the perfect way to put it, lol. I couldn’t stand him after awhile either, but this song was actually very sweet and raw so I’m curious about the rest of the show now.

  6. Harla says:

    Never in a million years did I expect to be so moved by Adam Sandler, what a beautiful tribute to his friend.

  7. Doodle says:

    Off topic – I absolutely loved the Patrick Swayze/Chris Farley Chippendales sketch. I was in grade 7 and remember that sketch so well. I love that you posted that picture.

  8. drea says:

    oh my god, that was the sweetest. My 4 year old cat may be sick, I’m emotional and I’m sitting at work sobbing! Oh boy, is it too early for wine?

  9. Lala11_7 says:

    Love….Never…EVER…Dies…..

  10. april says:

    beautiful

  11. launicaangelina says:

    This was such a sweet tribute. I was a teen in the nineties and this cast was what lured me into SNL. Great chemistry and talented group.

  12. Lizzie says:

    any time adam sandler and david spade speak about chris farley it is incredibly moving. a sudden loss is tragic at any age but when a friend and peer dies young while they are at the very beginning of their potential while the rest of your circle just…continues on it is an incredibly profound and weird experience. it truly think it is the bond that keeps these guys together, rob schneider and chris rock included. as stupid and gross as their movies are – i believe these guys are just the very best friends who love each other deeply and are anchored in their loss.

    • Canadiangirl says:

      I Think the loss probably becomes even more impactful as time passes. Twenty years is a long time. Sandler and Spade have had full careers, full lives, families. Their 30s and 40s have passed into their 50s. All without Chris. And not only is his absence a loss, but they are left wondering what those years would have liked with him in them.

      • paddingtonjr says:

        Very true Canadiangirl. I was really struck by the lines about Chris’s videos making Adam’s children laugh and him telling them Chris was the funniest guy he knew.

    • Marianne says:

      I havent lost anyone that young in my personal life, but I was completely overwhelmed when Anton Yelchin died as he was my favourite actor. And I know that doesnt really compare to Adam Sandler actually knowing and being friends with Chris, but I have to agree that its so weird to have someone the same age as you die. And it was an incredible weird feeling having a birthday and suddenly being older than him.

  13. CactusWren says:

    It is such a sweet tribute, and I think it’s made additionally moving by the fact that it comes near the end of a set that is by turns juvenile, absurd, goofy and sweet— loved his updated song for his wife too.

  14. teehee says:

    I don’t think hes working through his grief. Like one commented above: love never dies. You have initial grief and shock, but the person or thing you loved is forever gone after that, and that never changes…..
    If you love someone, say so. We have enough hate in the world right now.

  15. Grey says:

    Crying so much. Beautiful.

  16. Sayrah says:

    Loved it and I teared up too.

  17. Lucy says:

    This goes to show that whenever he isn’t out there being obnoxious and/or disgusting, Adam Sandler is capable of showcasing his real talent.

  18. Ann says:

    This gives me so many feels. I cried a little too! I remember watching those SNL episodes with my brother when we had to stay at our dad’s house. Our mom wouldn’t let us stay up that late but dad did so it was like a sneaky treat. Personally my favorite Farley skit was him being El Nino during Update. “El Nino. Spanish for… The Nino!”

  19. Jamie says:

    Oh my goodness. The line about his dad had me sobbing.

  20. Veronica S. says:

    I seriously can’t believe it’s been over two decades since he died. Time really does go so fast. I wonder if getting into those later years and reflecting on that is part of what prompted him to write the song. The rest of us got to mature and move on. Farley is immortalized in tragic youth.

  21. Jessica Elisabeth says:

    I agree! Saw his special a few weeks ago and when this song was over, I. WAS. BAWLING!!!
    It was just so real and honest. And touching. Instantly I remembered how much I truly enjoyed the genius of Chris Farley, and I only knew him from TV. It really spoke to me that no matter how much time has passed, the pain of losing someone so special to you never really lessens. We just learn to deal with it.
    Mannnnnn, RIP Chris Farley <3

  22. paddyjr says:

    And now I’m a sobbing mess! Adam really captured Chris: clown, party animal, friend, good Catholic boy, son who was close with his father. I was in college during the 90s and enjoyed watching “the bros” on SNL after a night out or post-exams. They could be a bit much, but in small doses, they were really funny. I’m glad to see they are still close and working together, although I’ve mostly grown out of their humor (I laugh at the occasional clip). Coincidentally, I saw a bit of “Grownups the other day and couldn’t help thinking how much better it would have been with Chris Farley instead of Kevin James. Nothing against KJ, but Chris would have killed it. And seeing Chris Rock, David Spade and Adam Sandler together just made me miss Chris Farley more.

  23. Teeee says:

    I love this so much….. I lost my younger brother to an overdose this past April. His birthday was Monday, and me and a bunch of his buddies are gathering together to celebrate him—his zestfulness and kindness— this coming weekend and I hope we’re still doing it 21 years from now and beyond.

  24. Christin says:

    He did a good job of capturing his good friend’s personality and how much he’s missed. Adam probably wants to be sure no one forgets his buddy.

    That’s one thing about loss as years pass – you don’t want to forget, nor do you want others to know what a good, fun person you had the privilege of knowing.

  25. fabulousfunster says:

    Don’t know the show or Chris Farley but it’s obvious that Adam Sandler loves him. Was never a huge fan his but wow – respect.

  26. Julie Hoff says:

    Who’s chopping onions in here?!? Second time Sandler’s made me cry. The first was his performance in “Reign O’er Me.” I was shocked at his talent in that one.

  27. Yes Doubtful says:

    Chris was a great soul. He has so many iconic skits and moments. The good die young unfortunately.