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Adam Sandler - Biography

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Comedian and actor Adam Sandler
Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images

Born:

September 9, 1966

Adam Sandler Overview:

During his days as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, it would have been hard to believe that Adam Sandler would one day become one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Known for his nasally whine and meek, man-child act, the once-polarizing Sandler turned those mannerisms into a huge movie career. Though he still performs stand-up occasionally and released a string of albums in the '90s (mostly sketches and music, not live stand-up), the comedian focuses primarily on his film work both in front of the camera and behind the scenes with his Happy Madison Productions label. Sandler is a comedy giant.

Quick Adam Sandler Facts:

  • Adam Sandler was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • He began performing stand-up in New York clubs at the age of 17, and continued performing during his time as a student at NYU.
  • In 1990, Sandler was hired as a writer on Saturday Night Live and joined the cast one year later, eventually becoming one of the most popular cast members the show has ever had.
  • He released his first comedy album, They're All Gonna Laugh At You, in 1993.
  • After leaving SNL in 1995, Sandler turned to movies and eventually became one of the most successful comedy stars of all time.

Adam Sandler on 'SNL':

After a brief stint on the MTV game show Remote Control in the late 1980s, Sandler was "discovered" by then-SNL cast member Dennis Miller and recommended as a hire on the sketch comedy show to producer Lorne Michaels. Sandler became a writer in 1990 and, one year later, graduated to "featured performer" (alongside friends Chris Farley, Chris Rock and David Spade). He eventually became a full cast member thanks to popular characters like "Opera Man" and "Canteen Boy," as well as for performing songs like "The Hanukkah Song" and "Lunch Lady Land." Sandler was let go from SNL in 1995.

In 1999, Sandler also became a successful Hollywood producer when he launched Happy Madison productions (a reference to Sandler's first two big movies, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore). In addition to producing his own films, Sandler has produced movies for his comedian friends (many of whom starred with him on SNL), including Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, The Hot Chick) David Spade (Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Joe Dirt) and Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop).

Select Adam Sandler Filmography:

Adam Sandler Discography:

  • They're All Gonna Laugh At You (1993)
  • What the Hell Happened to Me? (1996)
  • What's Your Name? (1997)
  • Stan and Judy's Kid (1999)
  • Shh...Don't Tell (2004)

Adam Sandler in the Movies:

Though he would eventually become a hugely bankable movie star, Adam Sandler's film career started slowly. His first leading role was in 1989's barely-seen Going Overboard, which he followed with a string of supporting roles in movies like Shakes the Clown (written and directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait) and Airheads. It wasn't until leaving Saturday Night Live in 1995 that Sandler began to write, develop and star in his own movies, and that's when he found massive box office success. His movies have grossed over a billion dollars combined.

Additional Adam Sandler Facts:

  • Adam Sandler's roommate in the 1980s was comedian-turned-director Judd Apatow. The two would finally work together in 2009's Funny People.
  • He had a recurring role as Theo's friend Smitty on the hugely popular sitcom The Cosby Show in the late '80s.
  • Sandler's dog, Meatball, regularly appeared in his films.
  • He's famous for working with and casting his friends when making movies, and has created his own kind of stock company that includes Tim Herlihy, Allan Covert, Peter Dante, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Rob Schneider, Jon Lovitz and Nick Swardson.
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