Farley began appearing on “Saturday Night Live” in 1990, the same year Rock joined the cast. He was part of a new generation of comedians that some felt were a new breed of “bad boys.” He was known for his awkward personae and his over-the-top screaming. Many are fans of Farley’s Matt Foley, a character who announced repeatedly that he lived in a van down by the river. Farley also starred in several feature films, a few of them opposite co-“bad boy,” David Spade. In his films, Farley often played a broad, clueless doofus, serving as a perfect comedic foil for Spade’s own eye-rolling sarcastic jerks. Farley, sadly, never appeared in a drama.
Rock feels that he could have. Farley wrestled with substance addiction for most of his life and frequently suffered from numerous health problems. It would be cocaine and morphine that would eventually take his life. Rock envisions a parallel universe where Farley kicked his drug habit, turned his acting toward drama, and succeeded immensely. Rock had every faith in Farley’s acting abilities and saw “Uncut Gems” as exactly the type of role he could have been playing. Rock said:
“It’s sad when our friend’s not here, but it is curious to [think], ‘Wow, what would that guy have done?’ When I see Sandler in something like ‘Uncut Gems,’ it’s like, ‘Yeah, Farley could have done that. Farley could have been in, you know …’ He’s literally that level of actor, and that level of, like … you just felt for that guy. Whatever ride Chris Farley was gonna to take me on, I was definitely ready to go on it.”