In his return to Saturday Night Live for the first time in nearly 25 years, Adam Sandler capped off his hosting duties with a moving tribute to his friend and former SNL castmate Chris Farley. It was the same song Sandler performed during his Netflix special 100% Fresh.
On Wednesday, Sandler spoke with acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson who served as a moderator for a FYC event for 100% Fresh. During their conversation, Sandler and Anderson, who previously worked together on the 2002 film Punch Drunk Love, discussed the Farley tribute, how it felt performing the song on SNL, and getting the approval of Farley’s mother Mary Anne before including the tribute in his special.
Earlier this month, Sandler revealed on The Dan Patrick Show how he “had to mentally get ready” to perform the tribute. With Anderson, the actor and comedian opened up on how it felt playing the song in Studio 8H, the place where many of their greatest memories were made.
“Certain parts catch me off guard, singing it. […] I did it in his hometown, too, in Milwaukee, so a lot of people knew him growing up were there, so that was emotional,” Sandler said, per IndieWire. “Then when I sang it on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ that was amazingly emotional because I just remember hanging out with him there so much, and how he kind of dominated my life there. I loved him so much, and every cameraman, everyone in the studio loved him so much, so when I sang it there, it was extra heartbreaking. I tried not to cry.”
Before the Farley tribute made its way on SNL, Sandler debuted it on 100% Fresh. Neither would have probably happened if Farley’s mother didn't sign off on the song first. However, what Sandler didn't foresee was the additional pressure he got as a result of Mary Anne's blessing.
"Mrs. Farley was really happy and said, ‘I love that. I love when anybody talks about Chris, but you really knew him, and that would be very special for my family.’ So I had that in my head when we were recording,” Sandler said. “I had some weird pressure in my head. I just wanted to make sure I did it right and did him justice.”