LOS ANGELES - APRIL 19:  Actor Chris Farley attends 10th Annual Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards on April 19, 1997 at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Bob Odenkirk Was the Creative Mind Behind What Might Be Chris Farley's Best SNL Character
Chris Farley's Chippendales sketch, opposite guest host Patrick Swayze, on the show's October 27, 1990 episode is one of the few legendary “SNL” sketches that propelled its main performer to stardom. However, Farley wouldn't find his go-to character until 1993 when, with a big assist from Bob Odenkirk, he unleashed motivational speaker Matt Foley on the world.
At Chicago’s The Second City, Farley had been killing audiences with an over-caffeinated, motivational-type maniac, but it was all vague histrionics until “SNL” writer Odenkirk fashioned Farley's unhinged rants into a parody of an on-the-skids drug addict who tries to scare kids straight. The character slayed and played a key role in getting Farley his "SNL" gig.
Strangely, Farley mothballed Foley until his third season of “SNL,” two years after Odenkirk had left the show. When Odenkirk gave Farley his blessing to introduce the character to a national audience, the actor hurled himself into the role with customary ferociousness.
According to David Spade, Farley waited until the actual live performance to pour on Foley's most ridiculous affectations, most notably his constant twisting of his belt. "He knew that would break me," says Spade. "He started hitching up his pants, and I couldn't take it.”