Bob Odenkirk on creating Chris Farley’s motivational speaker character Matt Foley

Phil Hartman And Chris Farley. (Photo By Barry King/Getty Images)
Phil Hartman And Chris Farley. (Photo By Barry King/Getty Images) /

Bob Odenkirk and Conan O’Brien talked about the history behind one of Saturday Night Live’s most iconic characters.

If you look down any list of the greatest Saturday Night Live characters, you’ll see Matt Foley near the top. The motivational speaker is the best-known character of legendary performer Chris Farley and has been a fan-favorite from day one. On Conan, Bob Odenkirk provided the history of the character.

Odenkirk was a Saturday Night Live writer from 1987 to 1991. While there he worked alongside Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel. The three would later be reunited when Odenkirk joined the writing staff at Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1993.

But before he was in late night television, Odenkirk was a performer with Second City in Chicago. It was there he first worked with Chris Farley before they both landed at SNL.

While promoting Better Call Saul on Monday night’s Conan, Odenkirk recalled working with Farley at Second City. He offered up the history of Matt Foley and how he created the now-famous character:

It’s hard to imagine Matt Foley as acting or speaking any other way. The character is perfect when you first see him on Saturday Night Live. So to hear Odenkirk tell the story, there were some tweaks and adjustments made to make the motivational speaker a fully-realized character.

And like everyone else, Odenkirk can’t help but smile when talking about Farley. No matter who is telling a story about the late comedian, it seems to elevate their mood and bring a smile to everyone’s face.

It is also no surprise to hear that even at Second City Farley did his best to make everyone break. You can see him do the same thing to David Spade in the original Saturday Night Live sketch.

Related Story. Chris Farley's 10 best sketches of all-time. light

Where does Matt Foley rank on your list of Saturday Night Live‘s best characters? Let us know in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night On for more from Conan and the rest of late night television.