Melissa McCarthy wears the jacket her comedy idol, Chris Farley, wore in his famous Matt Foley character on the 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live in 2015.
“It was really his jacket and they just kind of like clipped it back,” McCarthy said in an interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM. “And they’re like, ‘We’re gonna take it in, but we don’t wanna damage it. And we’re gonna do all this.”
When she finally got dressed, it was “really wild” because everyone had to process for a moment that she was posing as the late comedian, said McCarthy.
Nothing could calm her nerves.
“It was the one time right before I came through the door, I was so nervous,” stated McCarthy.
“That the sweet stage manager came up, and he goes, ‘Honey, are you okay?’ My legs were bouncing to the point where I couldn’t, I was holding onto the door. And I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can get the handle open.’ Because I couldn’t, I was not in control of my body. And I’ve never done that before. I was just rattled.”
Before appearing on stage, the multi-award-winning star called her husband, Ben Falcone, to talk about how nervous she felt. Falcone told her that Farley would never do something like that halfway, and neither should she.
“Come through that door like a train. Do it to make him proud,” he said.
“I literally was like, ‘I’m either gonna blackout, or I’m gonna come through like a train,” McCarthy added. “So, thank, thank God, I think I picked the train.”
Farley and Bob Odenkirk created the character of Matt Foley during the days when they were doing improv at Second City ahead of taking him to SNL. He was initially released on May 3, 1993, to discourage David Spade from using drugs after being caught with Christina Applegate.
“When Chris Farley did the ‘down by the river’ Matt Foley, I was in that,” a cast member from 1990 to 1994 named Julia Sweeney said during a “Women of SNL” panel a few years ago.
“They had to cut around me because I was laughing. Because it was like I had the best seat in the house for the funniest friggin’ thing that was happening on the planet.”
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