Another year, another Emmy win for Saturday Night Live, but this year's win was special. Lorne Michaels is the creator of the cultural touchstone, and he's usually a man that doesn't let his emotions get the better of him. That wasn't the case on Sunday as he took some time out of his acceptance speech to offer a tribute to the late Chris Farley. The entire room could feel the emotion coming off that stage.
During the acceptance speech for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Michaels made mention of the fact that the episode submitted for this season was one in which Adam Sandler crafted his own tribute to his dear friend. Farley and Sandler worked on the show many moons ago, but people had not forgotten how delightful of a talent Farley was during the time on the show and beyond.
Michaels mused, “This means a lot, the show we submitted was the show Adam Sandler did. He came back to host 24 years after he left, and in middle of show he did tribute to Chris Farley, and the crew and the cast and everyone who was in that studio, most of whom worked here when Chris Farley and Adam Sandler were young men, it’s rare that you see a cameraman tear up or the boom crew crying. It was a very chilling moment, and very powerful.”
Unfortunately, Farley died of a drug overdose in 1997, but the movies he made during his life are beloved by fans. Streaming television has only exposed the comedian’s work to more and more people as time has passed. The motivational speaker bits are a popular bit on social media as reaction images. His trademark smile is also a GIF favorite in moments of good things turning upside down in a hurry.
Strangely enough, the Emmy producers decided it might be a good time to pan around the crowd for reactions instead of letting the moment speak for itself. The emotion was still palpable and people love remembering a performer like Farley. Letting a big emotional beat breathe is what can elevate a good television moment to a great one after all. But, still there was a lot to be happy about after that speech.
SNL cleaned up in some other departments as director Don Roy King brought home the hardware for Outstanding Directing. King was also on hand to accept the award for Sandler’s appearance, which he was at the controls for. Two more wins take SNL’s Emmy total all the way to 72 over the course of it’s storied run. Not too many shows can pride themselves on that kind of dominance. And tonight, the show took another moment to lift up one of the performers that helped the show reach these lofty heights.