Of the 50 most-viewed Saturday Night Live clips on YouTube, 49 are from this century. The one exception: “Matt Foley: Van Down by the River.”
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen Chris Farley hitch up his pants or smash through a table (at least 12 of those 16 million views are mine), it’s still funny. It was so funny, in fact, that both David Spade and Julia Sweeney had a hard time not breaking. “When Chris Farley did the ‘down by the river’ Matt Foley, I was in that. They had to cut around me because I was laughing,” Sweeney said during a “Women of SNL” panel with Cheri Oteri and Laraine Newman this weekend. “Because it was like I had the best seat in the house for the funniest friggin’ thing that was happening on the planet.”
Sweeney still feels “awful” about not keeping it together.
“Yeah, Spade was laughing too. But they were mad at me. They had to change camera angles and that’s terrible. That is terrible. I just feel awful about it actually… I don’t want to be like that.”
Arguably the two funniest SNL sketches ever — “Matt Foley” and “More Cowbell” — both have cast members breaking. I wonder if that’s a coincidence, or seeing Jimmy Fallon, in the case of “Cowbell,” and Spade and Sweeney, for “Matt Foley,” lose their sh*t gives us permission to laugh harder. Either way, it’s impressive that Sweeney didn’t break more. Imagine trying not to laugh while this madness is happening in front of you.