David Spade marks the 20th anniversary of Chris Farley's death

The "Saturday Night Live" star died 20 years ago today.

ByABC News
December 18, 2017, 8:05 PM

— -- Comedian and actor David Spade has paid tribute to his late friend and "Saturday Night Live" co-star Chris Farley, who died 20 years ago today of a drug overdose.

Farley was 33 years old at the time of his death.

"20 years ago today," Spade wrote on Twitter, along with a photo of Farley.

Farley's best-known "SNL" characters often played on Farley's size -- he was well over 200 pounds -- and his manic, raging energy while also suggesting an underlying sensitivity.

Among the best-known of those characters were Weekend Update commentator Bennett Brauer; over-the-top motivational speaker Matt Foley, who was constantly reminding people he lived in a van down by the river; a teen girl who worked at the Gap; one of the Bill Swerski superfans whose catchphrase was "da Bears!"; and a shirtless Chippendales dancer in a bit that paired him with buff guest host Patrick Swayze.

After his "SNL" stint, which ran from 1990 to 1995, Farley starred in two films with fellow Spade -- "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep" -- and the solo-starring vehicle "Beverly Hill Ninja," before his death on Dec. 18, 1997 at his apartment in Chicago.