Melissa McCarthy was 'so nervous' to wear Chris Farley's jacket on SNL : 'I was just rattled'

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Melissa McCarthy was 'so nervous' to wear Chris Farley's jacket on SNL : 'I was just rattled'
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Stepping into the shoes of any legend is nerve-wracking, but Melissa McCarthy found something that's even more nerve-wracking: wearing the jacket her comedy hero, Chris Farley, wore on Saturday Night Live while she was parodying his famous Matt Foley character in the show's 40th anniversary special in 2015.

"It was really his jacket and they just kind of like clipped it back," McCarthy told Andy Cohen in a SiriusXM interview. "And they're like, 'We're gonna take it in, but we don't wanna damage it. And we're gonna do all this.'" McCarthy went on to recall how when she finally got fully dressed, it was "really wild" because everyone needed a moment to absorb McCarthy as the late comedian.

None of which, of course, helped her nerves.

Melissa McCarthy; Chris Farley as Matt Foley
Melissa McCarthy; Chris Farley as Matt Foley

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images; NBC Melissa McCarthy performing as the character of Matt Foley on 'SNL 40' and Chris Farley as the iconic character he created in 1993.

"It was the one time right before I came through the door, I was so nervous," said McCarthy. "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. 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."

The Bridesmaids star was so anxious, she called her husband, Ben Falcone, to talk out her nerves moments before hitting the stage. His advice? Farley would never do this halfway, and neither should she. "Come through that door like a train. Do it to make him proud," he told his wife. McCarthy did, to rave reviews, but it wasn't easy.

"I literally was like, 'I'm either gonna black out or I'm gonna come through like a train,'" McCarthy continued. "So thank, thank God, I think I picked the train."

A motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river, Matt Foley wasco-created by Farley and Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk back in their days doing improv at Second City before bringing him to SNL. The character made his debut on May 3, 1993, attempting to discourage David Spade and host Christina Applegate from using drugs. Like most Farley characters, the sketch is his physical comedy at its finest — from the "whoop-dee-frickin-doo" yells to the (unplanned) coffee table smashing — something even Farley's castmates couldn't get away from laughing at.

"When Chris Farley did the 'down by the river' Matt Foley, I was in that," Julia Sweeney, a cast member from 1990 to 1994, shared during a "Women of SNL" panel a few years ago. "They had to cut around me because I was laughing. Because it was like I had the best seat in the house for the funniest friggin' thing that was happening on the planet."

You can hear McCarthy talk about her SNL 40 experience in the clip above.

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