Sometimes megastars come in surprising packages. Such is the case with Sandler, a stand-up comedian who quickly earned fame playing a host of silly characters on Saturday Night Live
. After landing a few acting roles, including stints on The Cosby Show
and the MTV game show Remote Control
, he began writing for SNL
in 1990 and soon became a popular on-screen player, known for his crude humor and underdog appeal. He parlayed his small-screen success into a number of supporting film roles before graduating to leading man in 1995's Billy Madison
, which he cowrote with college buddy and frequent collaborator Tim Herlihy. Despite being critically lambasted, this lowbrow flick about a twentysomething slacker who returns to school was a big hit and paved the way for a slew of other vehicles (Happy Gilmore
, The Waterboy
, The Wedding Singer
) that helped make Sandler a member of the $20-million-per-picture club, even when his flicks flopped (Little Nicky
). Inevitably, the funnyman yearned to tackle more serious fare and did so with more nuanced roles in Punch-Drunk Love
, which were basically serious variants of his well-established persona. Sandler never lost sight of what his fans wanted and always reverted to his coarse but lovable ways. Even his critics admit that for a major Hollywood star, he has remained an affable, down-to-earth guy, who is happy to help out his less fortunate SNL
cronies (David Spade, Rob Schneider) by producing their movies and frequently hires his old school chums for supporting roles in his films.Adam Sandler Fast Facts:
- Appeared four times as Theo's friend Smitty on The Cosby Show.
- Dennis Miller helped him get a shot at writing for Saturday Night Live in 1990 after seeing him at a Los Angeles comedy club.
- Released a number of comedy albums, which included both sketches and songs. In 1995, the first edition of his holiday anthem "The Chanukah Song" became a surprise radio hit.
- Although he doesn't appear onscreen in 1999's Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, he can be heard yelling "Freak!" in one of the scenes.
- His bulldog, Meatball, was ring bearer at his wedding.
- Has a film production company called Happy Madison. The name is derived from the titles of his films Happy Gilmore (1996) and Billy Madison (1995).
- Adam Sandler Relationships:
- Jackie Titone - Wife
- Stan Sandler - Father
- Valerie Sandler - Sister
- Sadie Madison Sandler - Daughter
- Scott Sandler - Brother
- Judy Sandler - Mother
- Elizabeth Sandler - Sister
- Sunny Madeline Sandler - Daughter
- Adam Sandler Awards:
- 2006 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Funny Male - Winner
- 2000 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Motion Picture Star in a Comedy - Winner
- 2012 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Comedic Movie Actor - Winner
- 1992 Emmy: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program - Nominee
- 2014 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Comedic Movie Actor - Winner
- 1993 Emmy: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program - Nominee
- 2003 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
- 2011 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Comedic Star - Winner
- 1991 Emmy: Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program - Nominee
- 2013 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Comedic Movie Actor - Winner
- 2005 People's Choice Awards: Favorite On Screen Match Up - Winner
- 2009 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Funny Male Star - Winner
- New York University, New York, NY (BFA, 1988)