Actor and comedian Adam Sandler still has a large fan following that is eager to see whatever movie he makes next. His career has gone through its ups and downs with hilarious comedies like “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” to critical favorites like “Punch Drunk Love” and “Reign Over Me,” and then on to critically reviled films like “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy.” As a result, audiences can never be totally certain as to what Sandler will come up with next. Just when it seems like he has made one bad movie too many, he eventually comes around and surprises people with a truly unforgettable performance.
Adam was born on September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York to Stanley and Judy Sandler. His father Stanley was an electrical engineer and his mother Judy was a nursery school teacher. He moved with his parents to Manchester, New Hampshire when he was five years old, and this where he spent his formative years. Of his parents, he was quoted as saying:
“I never had a speech from my father [saying], ‘This is what you must do or shouldn’t do’ but I just learned to be led by example. My father wasn’t perfect. He had a temper. I took some of that. He would snap, but the older he got, he started calming down. He learned about life, but the thing that he taught my whole family was that family was the most important thing and, no matter what, if a family member needs you, you go and help them out, you get there. He just made us feel comfortable and respectful to other families, my mother also…part of my father having a temper led to me developing a sense of humor to calm the old man down. That kind of sense of humor.”
He graduated from Manchester Central High School and was invited back in 2003 to speak with the graduates. His nephew was one of three valedictorians that same year.
When he was 17, Adam began his career as a stand-up comedian after spontaneously taking the stage at a Boston comedy club, and he continued nurturing his talent at other venues while a student at New York University. During his freshman year there, he got cast as Theo Huxtable’s friend Smitty on “The Cosby Show,” and in one episode the two of them attempt to arrive at their school prom in a helicopter. He also got hired as a repertory player on the MTV trivia game show “Remote Control.” He graduated from NYU in 1991 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
During one gig at a comedy club, he was discovered by Dennis Miller who was on “Saturday Night Live” at the time, and Miller ended up introducing Sandler to the show’s producer Lorne Michaels. Sandler started off as a writer on SNL in 1990, but he became a featured player the following year thanks to his original songs like “The Chanukah Song.” Sandler left the show in 1995 although he later said he was actually fired along with the late Chris Farley by NBC.
“Going Overboard” marked Sandler’s first starring role in a movie, and in it he played Shecky Moskowitz, a struggling young comedian who gets a low paying job on board a cruise ship which is playing host to a Miss Universe contest. It was originally released in 1989 but ended up getting a wider release following the success of “Billy Madison” and his work on SNL.
His comedy album “Stan and Judy’s Kid” ended up setting a record for the most albums sold by a comedy record in its first week of release, and it debuted at number 16 on the Billboard charts. His previous three albums “They’re All Gonna Laugh At You,” What The Hell Happened To Me” and “What’s Your Name” have since gone platinum.
In terms of sports, Sandler is a huge fan of the New York Yankees and always tries to go to their games whenever he can. He also refers to the Yankees in most of his films, and the team was featured prominently in 2003’s “Anger Management.”
When it comes to music, Sandler loves the bands Van Halen, The Police, and Styx. His movies refer to them, and one of the most memorable references came in “The Wedding Singer” when his character ends up telling his ex-fiancé:
“Get out of my Van Halen t-shirt before you jinx the band and they break up!”
He loves dogs and has owned many throughout his lifetime. His most famous was Meatball, a bulldog who was the son of the talking dog Mr. Beefy from “Little Nicky.” Meatball has been featured prominently on Sandler’s official website and was even the best man at his wedding; he was dressed up in a tux and wore a yarmulke on his head. Sadly, Meatball passed away from a heart attack when he was only four years old.
Among the roles Sandler has been considered for in the past were as Willy Wonka in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” He was originally cast as Jamie Foxx’s character of Max in Michael Mann’s “Collateral” but had to drop out so he could work on “Spanglish.” At one point he was in talks to play a part in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds,” but scheduling conflicts with “Funny People” kept him from being in it.
Speaking of “Funny People,” one of his former roommates was that film’s writer, director and producer Judd Apatow. The video of Sandler making prank calls at the start of that movie was actually taken during the time they shared an apartment together and long before “Funny People” went into production. Many critics agreed that Sandler gave one of his best performances ever in it as the self-absorbed comedian George Simmons.
On February 1, 2011, Sandler became the 2,431st recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His wife Jackie, whom he married in June of 2003, was there for the ceremony along with their daughters Sadie and Sunny. Also with him were actors he has collaborated with on several projects, Kevin James and Henry Winkler.
His production company is called Happy Madison Productions, and it was named after his movies “Happy Gilmore” and “Billy Madison.” In addition to being behind most of his movies, the company has also been behind films Sandler’s other friends like Rob Schneider (“Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo” and “The Animal”), David Spade (“Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” and “Joe Dirt”), and Dana Carvey (“The Master of Disguise”) have starred in.
Adam Sandler continues to work endlessly in Hollywood and has many projects lined up. The fact that he is not necessarily a critics’ darling seems to have very little effect on him as evidenced by him saying:
“I wasn’t a kid growing up thinking, ‘One day I’ll get an Oscar and make a speech.’ That wasn’t on my mind. I want to just do the best work I can do.”
“To be honest with you, when I got into this I never thought about reviews. I never thought about what people would say about me. I was just a young guy who was excited to become a comedian and an actor and I just wanted to get to do what I got to do.”
Fun Facts and Trivia About Kate Winslet
Fun Facts and Trivia About Tom Cruise
Fun Facts and Trivia About Leonardo DiCaprio
‘Funny People’ – Judd Apatow Makes Us Laugh, but Also Gets More Serious
Adam Sandler IMDB page
Adam Sandler Wikipedia page
Happy Madison Productions Wikipedia page
Adam Sandler’s official website