Few eras in Saturday Night Live’s never-ending sketch-comedy empire inspire as devoted (and divisive) a reaction as the cast from the early and mid-1990s.  

The brash collection of young goofballs who turned the set into a showcase for numerous inane (or hilarious) sketches have grown up, moved on, and in some cases passed away.

… a surprisingly sensitive moment, a poignant reminder of the heartfelt bond between the two, as well as a sobering reminder of how fleeting Farley’s career was.

So it was with much anticipation that Adam Sandler — a poster boy for those Saturday nights — made an emotional return to the 30 Rockefeller stage, where he sang a heartfelt tribute to castmate Chris Farley, who would have turned 55 years old this year.

Sandler’s memorial to Farley was a surprisingly sensitive moment, a poignant reminder of the heartfelt bond between the two, as well as a sobering reminder of how fleeting Farley’s career was.

Farley appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1995.  He passed away in 1997 at the age of 33.

Besides their time on SNL, Farley and Sandler appeared in several movies together, including Billy Madison and Airheads.

Following his dismissal from SNL in 1995, Sandler has enjoyed success in the movies — but until last Saturday he had never returned to host the show on which he first achieved fame.

Reviews of the show overall were extremely positive, but it was the tribute to Farley that got the most attention. And was the most difficult for Sandler to pull off.

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter after an appearance on the Dan Patrick show, Sandler had a difficult time rehearsing the song and was nearly overcome during his performance. He kept his emotions in check and finished the song without a hitch.

Sandler’s return was evidence that time keeps marching on, but it’s never too late to return home. And go live.

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