Watch This: Matt Foley lived in a van down by the river long before SNL

Watch This: Matt Foley lived in a van down by the river long before SNL

The Second City has posted archival footage of Chris Farley performing as motivational speaker Matt Foley three years before the sweating, belt-adjusting, van-down-by-the-river-inhabiting character debuted on Saturday Night Live.

Taped in 1990, the sketch is remarkably similar to the version that eventually appeared on SNL. All the elements are there: the spineless New Age parents, the smartass kids who throw Foley off his game, and the startling kinetic energy of Chris Farley. And although the footage is smeary, you can make out Bob Odenkirk playing the hapless dad and Tim Meadows as his son.

Three years later, in the SNL version, Farley delivers most of the same lines, but he’s honed his craft a bit—he knows which words to punch for the TV audience, and he’s less hurried. The most notable difference in the later performance is Foley’s climactic collapse into the coffee table, an unscripted blooper that became one of the character’s signature moves. [via Uproxx]