Chris Rock Reveals His Heartbreaking Final Moments With Chris Farley
The comedian reflects on his last memories with the "SNL" star.
Although comedian Chris Farley died at the young age of 33, his legacy has lived on thanks to his iconic Saturday Night Live skits, his unforgettable movie roles, and his friends sharing hilarious anecdotes of their time together. But recently, Farley's former SNL co-star and close friend Chris Rock shared a darker memory of Farley, who died of a drug overdose in 1997. In a new interview with Esquire, he shared the last time he saw his friend. Read on to find out what made Rock realize Farley's life was nearing its end.
Rock recalled when he knew he'd never see Farley again.
During an interview for Esquire's "Explain This," published on May 11, Rock was asked about an old photo that featured him, Farley, Adam Sandler, and David Spade. "This was a great day," Rock said before explaining that the picture was taken in Los Angeles one night after he performed on his first big comedy tour. Many Hollywood stars came out to catch the show—Rock even name-dropped Madonna and Richard Pryor as both being in the audience, too.
But the picture also brought up a heartbreaking memory for Rock. "This looks like one of the last times I saw Chris alive," said Rock. "I would see him one more time when I did a gig in Chicago. We tried to hang out afterward, but… I don't know if you've ever really hung out with an addict towards the end. Anything that isn't the drug is a chore."
He recalled instinctively knowing that time he spent with Farley would be their last together. "I remember I was at his apartment… I leave, I see him out the window, and I was like, 'That's probably the last time I'm going to see him.' Like I knew,'" said Rock.
Farley, Spade, Sandler, and Rock became fast friends on SNL.
Rock, Farley, Sandler, and Spade shared an office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and came to be known as "the Bad Boys of SNL," along with Rob Schneider, in the early 1990s. Rock recalled that the men referred to their office as a dorm.
"We're friends to this day. I love those guys," Rock said of Sandler and Spade. The castmates went on to star in films together, with Rock and Sandler appearing in comedies like Grown Ups and The Longest Yard, while Spade and Farley teamed up for hits like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.
Farley's SNL castmates have kept his memory alive in the 24 years since his death.
After years of battling alcohol and drug addiction, Farley died of a morphine and cocaine overdose in Dec. 1997. In the years since, Rock, Sandler, Spade, and more SNL stars have continued to keep Farley's memory alive. In 2018, Sandler wrote and performed a song dedicated to Farley on his Netflix special Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh and sang it again when he hosted SNL in 2019.
In 2005, Farley was honored with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame and his three friends presented it to his mom, Mary Anne Farley (seen here). "I think it's sweet that everyone still has a real nice place in their hearts for him, they still remember him," Spade said at the time, according to the Associated Press. "He goes down as one of the greats. And I still think about him every day."
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Rock said Sandler is still one of his closest friends.
When a photo of Rock and Sandler side by side in their 2018 film The Week Of popped up during the Esquire interview, Rock referred to Sandler as one of his closest friends. He went on to explain that the two comedians who ended up being SNL co-stars got their start together before that at a comedy club in New York.
Although Rock admitted he wanted to dislike Sandler at first because he was fast-tracked to a prime slot in the lineup, he couldn't deny how funny he was, and the two became fast friends. Rock called Sandler a genius and one of the best writers he knows. And he also said his favorite memory of Sandler is him dancing with his aunt at his wedding. "I just fell in love with him," Rock recalled.