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It’s been over 20 years since Chris Farley died, but Tom Arnold still thinks of his close pal often.
The “True Lies” star, 62, revealed during an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday that he was once the “Saturday Night Live” alum’s sober sponsor — at the suggestion of the NBC show’s creator, Lorne Michaels.
“I was his sponsor for a few years,” Arnold said on Stern’s SiriusXM show. “Chris was from Wisconsin. I am from Iowa. … [We were] very close. He liked to have fun — and he had too much fun. I was very sad when he died.”
The “Roseanne” alum remembered Farley was on his way to a 17th stay in rehab before the comedian fatally overdosed in 1997.
“It’s all so frustrating because, at a certain point, he was like, ‘I’m not going to be around Tom because I don’t want him to see,’” Arnold recalled, adding that he had warned Farley that he could not be both obese and abuse drugs.
For much of his adult life, the “Beverly Hills Ninja” star struggled with weight and substance abuse issues. On December 18, 1997, he was found dead by his brother John in his apartment in Chicago. He was 33.
An autopsy revealed that Farley died of an overdose of cocaine and morphine. Advanced atherosclerosis also played a “significant contributing factor.”
Arnold, of course, has fond memories of his friend too. During Wednesday’s interview, he reminisced on the time Farley threw him a bachelor party before his marriage to Julie Lynn Champnella in 1995. Their group was thrown out of a strip club because Farley, who was Arnold’s best man, stripped totally naked and went onstage.
“He was naked a lot,” Arnold added. “There’s no shame in his game.”
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