Adam Sandler returned to Saturday Night Live as the host of the show on Saturday night, and used the occasion to live-perform his tribute song for the late Chris Farley. Along with other notable comedians like David Spade, Phil Hartman, Chris Rock, and Rob Schneider, Sandler and Farley helped make SNL must-see television during their runs in the 1990s. Since achieving immense success in Hollywood following his SNL departure, Saturday night's return to the show marked Sandler's first time back as the host. After performing in a variety of comedy segments throughout the night, Sandler remembered Farley's friendship and contributions to SNL in a touching segment to close out the show. It's the same song performed on Sandler's 100% Fresh Netflix special about Farley, and seeing it performed live in the SNL studio just makes it that much better.
"On Saturday night, my man would always deliver. Whether he was the Bumblebee Girl or 'living in a van down by the river!'" Adam Sandler sang in the song, praising some of the actor's many memorable SNL roles. He also mentions that without Farley, there would be no lunch lady in "Lunch Lady Land" - one of Sandler's biggest musical hits from the past which featured Farley portraying the the lunch lady. However, balancing out the comedy, Sandler recalls many genuine memories of his time with Farley outside of the show, including the last time they hung out. "Yeah, I miss hanging out, watching you trying to get laid. But most of all I miss watching you torture Spade," Sandler sings. He adds: "You're a legend like you wanted, but I still wish you were here with me, and we were getting on a plane to go shoot Grown Ups 3." By the end of the song, Sandler is visually holding back tears as he ends the performance.
Farley's run on SNL first began in 1990, and it wasn't long before he became one of the show's most beloved performers. Despite his immense popularity, he was controversially fired from the show along with Sandler in 1995. Chris Farley continued to perform in movies like Beverly Hills Ninja, Black Sheep, and Dirty Work before being found dead due to a drug overdose in 1997. He ironically died at the same age and in a similar manner to his SNL idol John Belushi, who passed away at the age of 33 in 1982.
In the opening monologue segment for SNL, Sandler also spoke about the time he and Farley were fired from the program. In the form of a song, Sandler sings about how he was fired when asked by his family why he left the show. "I guess NBC had enough of Crazy Spoon Head, and the songs I sang on the news. Maybe they were sick of Canteen Boy, but I think they just hate the jews," Sandler sings in his trademark fashion. He also mentions Farley to close out the song. "I was fired, not rehired, well it made me sad and blue," Sandler recalls. "I told my boy Chris Farley I got fired, and he said, 'Same, man, they fired my ass too!'"
Sandler's songs on SNL had always been a source of comedy in the past, but his Chris Farley tribute was certainly far more serious. Although seeing it may conjure emotions of sadness, it's hard not to find the humor in the many classic Farley bits Sandler references as well. Clearly, Farley's millions of fans loved him, but the people who knew him best cared for him even more so. So many years later, the legendary comedian is still badly missed by everyone. Below, you can watch Sandler's Farley tribute and his opening monologue, courtesy of Saturday Night Live on YouTube.