Melissa McCarthy says her experience wearing Chris Farley‘s iconic checkered jacket on SNL was less exciting than stressful for her. The comedian reflected on the moment from a 2015 Saturday Night Live episode in which she sported the late Farley’s famous coat from his Matt Foley character, telling Andy Cohen she was so nervous she felt like she “was not in control of [her] body.”
In an interview on Cohen’s Sirius XM show, McCarthy confirmed she wore Farley’s real jacket during the SNL 40th anniversary special. She explained, “It was really his jacket and they just kind of like clipped it back. And they’re like, ‘We’re gonna take it in, but we don’t wanna damage it. And we’re gonna do all this.’”
Once she was dressed in character, McCarthy said it was “really wild because when I walked out, people were like, ‘Hey, buddy,’ … and so I just hugged people, and they knew it was me, but you could tell some of [Farley’s] dear friends really needed him in it,” referring to the famous jacket.
McCarthy said that only upped the stakes, recalling, “It was the one time right before I came through the door, I was so nervous that the sweet stage manager came up and he goes, ‘Honey, are you okay?’
“My legs were bouncing to the point where I couldn’t, I was holding onto the door,” she continued. “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. And I’ve never done that before. I was just rattled.”
McCarthy called her husband and frequent collaborator, Ben Falcone, for reassurance. He told her not to “do it halfway” because Farley wouldn’t have, either, and encouraged her to “do it to make him proud.”
“I literally was like, ‘I’m either gonna black out or I’m gonna come through like a train,’” McCarthy said. “So thank, thank God, I think I picked the train.”
Watch McCarthy’s iconic SNL moment in the video above. It begins at the 4:30 mark.