It’s been 20 years since Saturday Night Live cast member and comedic film star Chris Farley died. On December 18, 1997, Farley died of a drug overdose in his apartment at the age of 33. On the twentieth anniversary of the day Chris Farley died, David Spade shared his own tribute on Instagram.
Farley and Spade made two films together and were close friends while working on Saturday Night Live. On his Instagram account, Spade shared a picture of Farley with the simple caption, “20 years ago today.” Farley and Spade both starred in the films Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.
When Chris Farley died, it sent a shock through the entertainment world. Farley struggled with his unhealthy weight as well as alcohol and drug abuse throughout his tenure on Saturday Night Live. Ironically, Farley’s personal comedy hero, John Belushi, also died at the age of 33 of a drug overdose.
Farley was born in Madison, Wisconsin on February 15, 1964. He had four siblings: Tom, Kevin, John, and Barbara. He began doing improv in Madison after college.
Chris Farley eventually began performing as part of the Second City touring group. He was promoted to the main stage in 1989 and appeared in three productions as a cast member.
In the spring of 1990, Chris Farley was announced as a new cast member on Saturday Night Live, along with comedian Chris Rock. He appeared in numerous sketches with David Spade.
Chris Farley appeared in many sketches on the show that are now considered classics. These included sketches that featured Matt Foley, Chippendales, Gap Girls, and Swerski’s superfans.
Farley then began appearing in films such as Wayne’s World and Coneheads. Farley and Spade made their first movie together, Tommy Boy, in 1995. It was a financial success and became a cult classic.
Farley and Spade made another film together, the 1996 comedy Black Sheep. However, Farley had a history of substance abuse dating back to his time on Saturday Night Live.
Farley had faced numerous suspensions from the show for his problems with drugs and alcohol. He was already in poor health due to his weight and had sought treatment unsuccessfully.
Unfortunately, Chris Farley died of an accidental cocaine and morphine overdose. He is remembered fondly by his friends and the comedians he inspired, such as Tom Arnold and Judd Apatow.