Why Chris Farley Was Needlessly Worried David Letterman Would Get Him Fired From SNL

In addition to his star power on "SNL" and new comedy classics like "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep" (neither of which counted among Christian Bale's favorite performances), Chris Farley's appearances on "Late Show with David Letterman" were legendary in the mid-'90s. His most famous guest spot came in 1996 when he stormed through the entire theater at Studio 6-A, spinning cartwheels and doing the splits right in from of Letterman's desk. A year before that, in March of 1995, Farley appeared on Letterman after the release of "Tommy Boy" and talked nervously (as was his way) about his newfound fame and the early days of "SNL" when Letterman still had "Late Night with David Letterman" over at NBC.

On the official Letterman YouTube Channel, the interview has been preserved for posterity and Farley's trademark sweetness naturally comes out when he gushes over Letterman. Farley tells a story about losing his security ID card and immediately panicking, telling Letterman, "I used to always go down there and watch from [studio] eight, and then your studio at six, but the first time I got hired at 'Saturday Night Live' I was kind of paranoid and scared, I had that ID card, you know?" "Oh yeah, you gotta have the NBC ID," Letterman confirmed. (For someone who has worked at a very similar building across the street from Rockefeller Center in New York City, I can confirm that you DO NOT want to lose your security clearance.)

Showing Letterman the proper respect by always wearing a suit and tie on the show, Farley continued the story about the time when he thought his career was over before it had even begun, because of his paranoia that losing such an irreplaceable ID would get him fired by the king of late night.

'Get him out of here!'

Being the new kid on the block, Farley was convinced he was going to be escorted right out of the building and was afraid he had put everyone at 30 Rock in jeopardy:

"I thought, 'Oh my God. Security's been breached, they're gonna have to re-do everyone's security code,' I thought it was a huge deal. And my paranoid fantasy was that, like, it would get to you and you're like, 'Who is this jackass they hired up on 'Saturday Night?' He can't hold onto an ID card? Get him out of here!' And I was like, 'No, I'll find it!'"

Watching the interview again, Farley comes off as a kid who just wants to impress Letterman and make him laugh. He explodes and shouts something hilarious and then immediately reverts back into a shell because he doesn't want to offend or upstage Letterman. It's tremendously endearing to watch. The final show of the original "Late Night with David Letterman" aired in the summer of 1993, so the CBS slot for "Late Show with David Letterman" was still in its infancy when Farley became a regular guest.

Farley obviously didn't understand quite then how the hierarchy worked at NBC, a fact that Letterman poked fun at, joking "I pretty much called the shots over there, yeah that's how that works. And that's why I had to leave." Letterman was always poking fun at himself to disarm his guests, and acting like he left NBC because he wasn't good at being the one in charge is a perfect example. After Farley finally catches his breath after performing acrobatics on the way in, he seems at ease throughout the rest of the conversation. Farley was just happy to be there. And we were always happy to see him.