Melissa McCarthy was “nervous” to do the late Chris Farley proud during the “Saturday Night Live” 40th anniversary special in 2015.
The “Bridesmaids” star, 51, had to don the comedian’s iconic plaid jacket and green tie from his recurring character of motivational speaker Matt Foley, who is divorced and “lives in a van down by the river” and first appeared in a sketch in 1993.
Farley passed away due to an overdose in December 1997.
McCarthy recently dished to Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show about how she felt wearing Farley’s costume for a skit.
“It was really his jacket and they just kind of, like, clipped it back,” McCarthy said. “And they’re like, ‘We’re gonna take it in, but we don’t wanna damage it. And we’re gonna do all this.’”
She also noted that it was “really wild” for everyone to see her as the late funnyman in his clothes — though the experience “rattled” her.
“It was the one time right before I came through the door, I was so nervous,” said the “Identity Thief” actress said.
“The sweet stage manager [then] came up and he goes, ‘Honey, are you OK?’ My legs were bouncing to the point where I couldn’t — I was holding onto the door. And I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can get the handle open.’ Because I couldn’t. I was not in control of my body,” McCarthy said as she looked back. “And I’ve never done that before. I was just rattled.”
Due to her nerves, she phoned her husband, Ben Falcone, before she went onstage to help ease her tensions.
“Chris isn’t gonna do it halfway; you can’t either,” the “Tammy” director, 48, advised his wife. “Come through that door like a train. Do it to make him proud.”
That apparently was enough for McCarthy.
“I literally was like, ‘I’m either gonna black out or I’m gonna come through like a train.’ So, thank God, I think I picked the train,” she recalled.
Farley’s Matt Foley character first appeared to tell a teenage brother and sister — played by David Spade and Christina Applegate — to avoid drugs or they’ll also be living in a “van down by the river.”
The memorable sketch dropped May 3, 1993, and was penned by Farley and his Second City improv friend and “Better Call Saul” actor Bob Odenkirk.