If you’ve already watched Adam Sandler’s musical ode to his good friend Chris Farley a dozen times while crying your eyes out, a perfect chaser has been poured for you. Speaking with Conan O’Brien on last night’s Conan, Bob Odenkirk looked back on creating one of Farley’s most beloved characters: motivational speaker, and man who lives in a van down by the river, Matt Foley. The character’s origins go back to Farley and Odenkirk’s time together at the Second City; it started with Farley improvising an anti-drug speech onstage, which Odenkirk fleshed out into the character that would go on to Saturday Night Live fame.
“It was just that voice of a coach who just really doesn’t know what he’s saying but is trying to put a lot of emphasis in it, and I just went home with that voice in my head. It was very funny, and I sat down with a legal pad and wrote up that sketch exactly the way it’s done — although Robert Smigel added him smashing the table at Saturday Night Live, ’cause we didn’t do that at Second City,” Odenkirk told O’Brien. “It was just amazing how it came to life and filled that theater every night. My daughter asked me once, ‘What was the most fun you ever had doing what you do?’ And I told her — and I think I still believe — it would be the eight shows a week with Chris doing the motivational speaker. Because I’d never seen anything hit so hard every time, and Chris wouldn’t leave the stage until he made all the performers laugh. He was driven to make you laugh when he did the sketch every single night.”
You probably want to watch some Matt Foley sketches now, right? Here you go:
The one thing we all need during these awful quarantined times is motivation, and luckily there are plenty of Foley clips on the internet to slap us back into shape thanks to Odenkirk and Farley.