Saturday Night Live first aired on NBC on October 11, 1975, and when I was kid we only had 13 channels. so one way or another, I become a fan of Saturday Night Live. Then, as a 12 year old and sneaking back to the living room after everyone was in bed, I became a fan of the late 80s and early 90s cast of SNL, specifically; Kevin Nealon anchoring the weekend update, Adam Sandler doing the skits that led to his movie career, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and really early Chris Rock. All of whom came together to create some of the greatest comedy moments of all time. However, the character that left the most indelible impression on me though was Matt Foley, played by Chris Farley.
While most people know Chris Farley for his movie roles in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, he is best known to me as, Matt Foley. Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman) and Chris Farley, together, created Matt Foley whose character was a motivational speaker and was known for the trademark line he gave at the end of every speech that he gave: “Don’t end up like me living in a van down by the river!”
He opened his motivational speech to David Spade and Christina Applegate.
Matt Foley: Hi. How is everybody? Good. Great.
Matt Foley: Now as your father probably told you. My name is Matt Foley and I am a motivational speaker.
Matt Foley: So, let me give you a little bit of a scenario of what my life is all about.
Matt Foley: First up, I am 35 years old.
Matt Foley: I am divorced and I live in a van down by the river.
It was a classic bit that made up some the magic that was Saturday Night Live. Not that I needed anymore motivation in my life at twelve years old, but there was no way that I wanted to end up like, Matt Foley. While no one reading this is going to end up in a van down by the river, the message that I took away from watching SNL’s Matt Foley, was that if you don’t make good choices in your life then you can become a victim of your own circumstances.
And even after having come to many major life decisions and having made it to the other side without ending up down by the river, everytime I see this skit replayed, it brings me back to being a teenager and laughing at Matt Foley. Here is a link to one of the SNL Matt Foley skits,click and enjoy.
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