'SNL': Adam Sandler Pays Tribute to Chris Farley in Hosting Debut

Adam Sandler returned to NBC's Saturday Night Live this weekend as a first-time host, reprising some of his past characters, including the iconic Opera Man during the "Weekend Update" segment.

It has been 24 years since the former castmember appeared on SNL, and Sandler was quick to poke fun at his departure during an opening monologue duet with surprise guest Chris Rock.

Despite bringing the laughs throughout his hosting gig, the comedian ended the episode with a heartfelt musical performance as he sang about late castmember Chris Farley.

The song provided a tribute to Farley’s past characters and sketches, with Sandler going down memory lane of his time spent with the fellow comic. He also sang emotional lyrics about his kids watching old Farley bits. "Give it up for the great Chris Farley," Sandler said when he ended the song.

One sketch during the show parodied a CNN program in which a correspondent played by Mikey Day kept accidentally using Snapchat filters during his on-the-ground dispatch from Tripoli. Sandler played a lieutenant who was also filmed through various filters.

A musical short featured Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett singing about how clothes are just holes, and Sandler appeared for a guitar solo. Sandler also played the host of an Italian tourism company in a commercial parody in which he warned potential travelers that they would still be sad on vacation.

Previous castmembers Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig also made cameos on the episode, including in a sketch that featured Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Sandler making out, Lady and the Tramp-style.

The episode also frequently made references to the growing pool of presidential candidates. McKinnon showed up as Sen. Elizabeth Warren during "Weekend Update." "When I went to college in Oklahoma, it was affordable,” she said. “It was $2.50 a semester."

Sandler made his hosting debut with the episode. He first joined SNL as a writer in 1990 and became a featured player the following year. He left the show following poor ratings in 1995.

"It was a mistake, they caught me in a weak moment," Sandler joked earlier in the week of his decision to finally host, adding, "No, those guys are great. [My Netflix] special came out and some guys from Saturday Night Live called me and said, 'Come on, come host.'"

Sandler, who popularized such characters as Canteen Boy and the Gap Girls (with Farley and David Spade) during his tenure, said he stayed until 4 a.m. on Tuesday to assist in the writing process for the show.

He also admitted that he should have come back to host sooner: "First of all, I should have come back to the show before it was HD. Good lord, I waited a long time — I don't really look like Adam Sandler anymore."