Remembering Chris Farley, 20 years after his death

Chris Farley died 20 years ago Monday at the age of 33, and despite all of the time that’s gone by, he’s still considered one of the funniest sketch comedians to ever walk the planet.

His longtime collaborator and friend, comedic actor David Spade, posted a heartfelt message to his Instagram page on Monday.

View this post on Instagram

20 years ago today.

A post shared by David Spade (@davidspade) on

The simple caption reads, “20 years ago today.”

The pair appeared together at the 1997 Academy Awards to present the Oscar for Short Film (Live Action).

Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment later that year, the apparent victim of a drug overdose.

Known for his high-energy, frenetic depictions, Farley was widely respected for his outrageously funny skits, movies and cameos. Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels has said on multiple occasions that Farley was one of the most talented people to ever grace his stage.

“There’s a category of people that I work with that are infuriatingly talented,” said Michaels in the documentary I Am Chris Farley. “There was some part of him that clearly trusted that if he was a little bit f**ked up, it would be all right. Or maybe that was where the magic came from.”

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Farley joined the cast of SNL in 1990, one of two new members (the other was Chris Rock). He was on the show until 1995, delivering five years of non-stop hilarity.

Post-SNL, Farley came out with several movies — Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja, all of them box-office hits — before his untimely death two years later.

In honour of the comedian, here are some of his best (and most hilarious) clips. (Note: Since some SNL clips aren’t made available for viewing in Canada, we’ve had to use clips from other sources.)

The Motivational Speaker

Farley’s Matt Foley character made another “appearance” on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, and would go on to appear in many other sketches over the years.

The Chris Farley Show

Chippendales Audition

Weather Scope: El Niño

‘Angry Bus Driver’ in Billy Madison

‘Desk Demo’ in Tommy Boy

In 2013, many comparisons pitted Farley against the late Toronto mayor Rob Ford. A parody film trailer for Rob Ford: The Movie (using Farley footage) was even created. (Warning: foul language)

One thing’s for sure, it says a lot about a comedian’s humour when his work is consistently referenced, even two decades after his death.

(You can watch SNL on Saturday nights on Global at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT.)

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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