The Best Part About Melissa McCarthy's Chris Farley Impression On SNL 40

While your mileage may vary for Saturday Night Live on a week to week basis, it’s hard to deny just how enjoyably silly and reverential the 40th anniversary special was back in February. One of the most memorable bits took place during the all-star Weekend Update segment when Melissa McCarthy comes out as Chris Farley’s motivational speaker Matt Foley. And it turns out her spot-on appearance didn’t merely resemble Farley’s look, as she was actually wearing some of his clothes for the portrayal!

The always hilarious Melissa McCarthy appeared on today’s episode of The Howard Stern Show, in which Stern brought up how much he loved seeing her on the SNL 40 special. And in talking about how nervous she was to portray one of her idols, she talked about the costume.

And I was actually wearing his clothes…That was the actual jacket and tie, and they just took it in and shortened the sleeves without altering the object. It had sweat stains, and when I put it on in the dressing room, I just burst out crying. I couldn’t…I was so thrown.

I love the fact that they didn’t even wash or dry-clean the jacket after the last Matt Foley appearance, which came in 1997 when Chris Farley hosted an episode less than two months before his death. 18-year-old sweat stains are the best kind, but only if they belong to comic geniuses. I can’t imagine how weird that must have felt for McCarthy to be trying on that jacket. Maybe it’ll one day get stored with the Fonz’s jacket in the Smithsonian one day, in a room with an automatic air freshener.

Check out the SNL 40 sketch below.

In the interview, McCarthy also shared that it was Tina Fey who originally asked her to perform the sketch, and she talked about almost getting seriously hurt during a dress rehearsal when the collapsible desk that she dove on didn’t fully come down. (Nothing brings out the comedy like a neck injury.) She also talked about how nervous she was to do the impression, given she was a huge fan of Farley’s, and she shared that she even got to serve him a cup of coffee one day when she was working at Starbucks while a part of the Groundlings troupe.

You can lend your ear to the entire Stern interview below.

Now I’m ready to hear about how McCarthy wore Harold Ramis’ old Ghostbusters jumpsuit when Paul Feig’s new movie gets underway.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.