Will Ferrell Reveals Christopher Walken’s Life Was Ruined After Iconic ‘More Cowbell’ Sketch On ‘SNL’

The actors co-starred in the famous 'Saturday Night Live' sketch nearly 20 years ago.

Actor Christopher Walken; Will Ferrell in a composite image
Rob Kim/Larry Busacca / Getty Images

The actors co-starred in the famous 'Saturday Night Live' sketch nearly 20 years ago.

Will Ferrell says Christopher Walken is still mad about his involvement in one of the most famous sketches in Saturday Night Live history. During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Ferrell revealed that the Oscar-winning actor once called him out over the classic “More Cowbell” sketch they co-starred in back in 2000.

In the famous sketch, Walken plays Blue Oyster Cult producer Bruce Dickinson, while Ferrell sports a tight-fitting, belly-baring shirt to play fictional band member Gene Frenkle in a faux documentary about the band. Former SNL players Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz, and Jimmy Fallon also portray Blue Oyster Cult bandmates in the sketch.

As the band begins to record their 1976 radio hit “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” at Sunshine Studios, Walken’s character demands that they up the use of “cowbell.” The cowbell sound becomes a running gag in the lengthy sketch as Ferrell’s character annoys his bandmates with the unlikely instrument while following Walken’s instructions to give him more of it.

“I gotta have more cowbell,” Walken says at one point. ” I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.”

Fallon, meanwhile, can be seen visibly losing it over the sketch as he tries to cover his laughter up by putting drumsticks in front of his face.

On The Tonight Show, Ferrell told Fallon (via YouTube) that years after he co-starred with Walken in the famous parody of the ’70s rock band, he stopped by to see the actor backstage at a theater performance. That’s where Walken laid a guilt trip on him.

Ferrell said Walken told him, “You know, you’ve ruined my life.”

“People during the curtain call bring cowbells and ring them. The other day I went for an Italian food lunch and the waiter asked if I wanted more cowbell with my pasta Bolognese,” he quoted the actor as saying.

Ferrell went on to say he thinks Walken was “really mad” at him over the now-classic sketch. The SNL funnyman pointed out that the movie icon had such a great career before “More Cowbell,” yet the SNL sketch is what he is often associated with.

“From ‘The Deer Hunter’ to ‘Pulp Fiction’ to ‘More Cowbell.’ That’s all he gets,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell and Fallon agreed that the famous sketch made so many people happy and only “ruined” one person’s life: Walken’s.

Loading...

In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Walken addressed his role in the “More Cowbell” sketch and hinted that it still follows him two decades later.

“I knew it was funny,” Walken said. “Yeah. Will Ferrell was hilarious. But it has stuck, I must say.”

Luckily, Will Ferrell has no bitter feelings about his days on Saturday Night Live. The 52-year-old comedian will host this week’s episode of the NBC late-night show and will even earn the coveted Five-Timers status for the guest hosting gig.