Surprising Facts You Probably Never Knew About Adam Sandler
Oops! Did you know he was fired from "Saturday Night Live"?
Adam Sandler has been a staple in American comedy for nearly 30 years. And to think, being a comedian wasn’t even on his radar until his brother gave him the idea to perform at a Boston comedy club at age 17!
Sandler has kept people laughing through the ’90s and 2000s, with hit films like “Billy Madison,” “Happy Gilmore,” “The Wedding Singer” and “The Waterboy.”
Think you know everything about this super-successful funnyman? Think again! We’ve rounded up some facts about Sandler that might just surprise you.
He’s Released Two Albums That Have Gone Double Platinum
Sandler’s 1993 debut comedy album, titled “They’re All Gonna Laugh at You,” was not only nominated for a Grammy but also was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, meaning it had at least 2 million sales. His second album, “What the Hell Happened to Me?,” went double platinum too! In his career he’s released a total of five comedy albums, the most recent in 2004.
He Was An R.A. In College
Sandler attended New York Univeristy, and during his time there served as a resident assistant to his fellow students.
He Was On ‘The Cosby Show’ As A Teen
Sandler’s first regular Hollywood gig was on “The Cosby Show,” at age 18. He played Theo Huxtable’s friend, Smitty.
He Had A Regular Role On MTV
In the late ’80s, Sandler was a regular on MTV’s classic game show “Remote Control,” which was the network’s first original program that didn’t focus on music.
In 2007, Sandler made news by donating $1 million to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire. He’s also lent his talents to fundraising events for autism awareness and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Dennis Miller Helped Him Get On SNL
“Saturday Night Live” cast member Dennis Miller suggested SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels check out Sandler. He joined the show as a writer in 1990, becoming a featured player the following season and a full-fledged cast member in 1993.
He’s Apparently Really Popular On Netflix
Netflix doesn’t release viewing numbers but in 2014, the company signed Sandler to a contract to make four feature films for them, showing he must have a dedicated following there. Apparently happy with the results, Netflix signed yet another deal with the comedian in 2017 for four more movies.
His Highest-Grossing Movie Is An Animated One
Sandler has been a box-office draw for more than 20 years now, but his highest grossing movie so far has been 2015’s “Hotel Transylvania 2.” The movie earned $473.2 million in theaters worldwide and $169.7 million in America alone. Both figures are records for the actor.
He Was Fired From ‘SNL’
Sandler and Chris Farley, were fired from “Saturday Night Live” in 1995. Rumor has it that it was for mooning people and making prank calls from the SNL Offices, and Sandler told Howard Stern in 2015 that it was NBC “top brass” who did the firing not Lorne Michaels.
He’s Worth How Much?!
Neil Diamond Has Covered One Of His Greatest Hits
He Was Judd Apatow’s Roommate
Before they both found fame and fortune, Sandler and director Judd Apatow shared a $900 per month apartment in California.
His Production Company’s Name Sounds Familiar
In 1999, Sandler founded his own production company, Happy Madison Productions. The name Happy Madison comes from the titles of two of his most beloved movies, “Happy Gilmore” and “Billy Madison.”
His Wife And Child Were In One Of His Movies
In the 2012 animated movie “Hotel Transylvania,” Sandler’s real-life wife, Jackie, and his older daughter, Sadie, did the voices of his character’s wife and young daughter.
He Could Have Been In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’
People Really, Really Love Him
If you’re a Sandler fan, this one may not be a big surprise. Sandler has won nine People’s Choice Awards in his career, including five consecutive trophies in the favorite comedic star/favorite comedic movie actor category, from 2011 to 2015.
He’s On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
His Movies Once Made $400 million In 16 Months
Sandler became a massive box-office draw in the late ’90s. In a span of 16 months, from February 1998 to June 1999, he released three movies (“The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy” and “Big Daddy”) that grossed more than a combined $405 million in America alone. His box-office dominance continued through the 2000s.
His Wife Converted To Judaism Before They Got Married
Sandler was raised Jewish. His wife, Jackie, converted to Judaism in 2000, three years before the couple tied the knot.
He Gets Stage Fright
Sandler told Howard Stern in 2015 that he gets anxiety about performing live.
“On ‘Saturday Night Live’ I was always better at dress rehearsal because in my brain I knew no one was seeing that one,” he said.
He’s Had Some Pretty Bad Movies
It’s not surprising that some of Sandler’s movies have been flops (hey, you can’t win ’em all!). In fact, at least two of his films have hit zero percent on the movie rating site, Rotten Tomatoes. Yes, this means that not a single critic liked “Ridiculous 6” “Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star.” But don’t feel bad. Despite scoring 10 percent and seven percent respectively, “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups 2” still combined for roughly $517 million at the box office.
He Actually Hit 6-Year-Olds With Dodgeballs
In”Billy Madison,” Sandler took creative control of the hilarious, albeit somewhat controversial, dodgeball scene in which he decided to actually hit his fellow child actors with dodgeballs, instead of just pretending.
“There’s a dodgeball scene, and I’m hitting all these first graders really hard with a dodgeball… I hit some kid pretty hard and he gets upset and he starts crying,” he recalls during a 2017 interview on “Conan.” “The parents come up to me and they’re like, ‘That’s a kid. You nailed that kid!’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, no. That’s the scene!’” he continues. “I said, ‘Didn’t they read the script?’ and they go, ‘They’re 6, they don’t read yet.’”
He Made Netflix History
In his Western comedy “The Ridiculous 6,” Sandler plays an outlaw raised by Native Americans who finds out he has five half-brothers. The crew, which features Terry Crews, Taylor Lautner and Rob Schneider, set out to find their father. The film was completely destroyed by critics, however, by 2016 figures the movie was watched more times in 30 days than any other movie in Netflix history.
His Dad Was A Comedic Influence
His father, though not a comedian and rather an electrical engineer, influenced him to become a comedian. Sandler has said that his father had a temper, which ultimately led Sandler to develop a sense of humor to help calm him down.
Sandler now has two children himself: daughters Sunny, 9, and Sadie, 12.
He’s Got His Favorites
Sandler frequently recasts his friends in his films. Back in 2013, Vulture added up how many Sandler films all his buddies have appeared in. At the time, Allen Covert topped the list with 15 Sandler productions including “Happy Gilmore,” “The Wedding Singer,” “The Waterboy” and “Mr. Deeds.” A close second was Rob Schneider who’s been in over 11 including “50 First Dates,” “The Longest Yard” and “Grown Ups.”
His First Film Role Was As Shecky Moskowitz
His first movie, “Going Overboard,” in which he plays a struggling stand-up comic on a cruise ship that ends up getting attacked by terrorists, was a flop. The 1989 film also featured Billy Zane and Billy Bob Thornton. Though it didn’t do well initially, it was released on home video after Sandler became more popular.
He Was Almost In ‘Collateral’
The part of Max, the cab driver, in the 2004 Tom Cruise movie “Collateral” was written with Sandler in mind. However, after the director reworked the script, the role went to Jamie Foxx, who earned an Oscar nomination for it.
The Sandlerverse Is A Real Thing (maybe)
YouTuber Shawn Kohne has a theory that every Sandler movie is connected in some type of way and moreover, each movie takes place in the same universe. To back up his claim, he refers to the same characters, jokes and props that pop up in multiple Sandler films, all starting with the movie “50 First Dates.” Whether or not this is entirely true, the theory is pretty entertaining.
He Has A Say In Who Wins An Oscar
In 2010, Sandler was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This means he gets to vote on the Oscar winners each year. Zoe Saldana, U2, Anna Kendrick and more were also accepted into the academy that same year.
He Met His Wife Through Rob Schneider
Adam first met now-wife Jackie Titone, an actress and model, on the set of the movie “Big Daddy.” They have Rob Schneider to thank for the introduction, as he had worked with her on “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” Schneider introduced her to Sandler while he was casting for “Big Daddy,” and Sandler offered her a role. They married in 2003.