Sandler receives Mark Twain Award, praise from comics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Adam Sandler laid his hand on a bronze bust of Mark Twain and suggested that “one day this might be the gun that strikes me in my sleep.”

Comedy and entertainment royalty gathered at the Kennedy Center in Washington as Sandler was presented Mark Twain Award for American Humor.

The presenters, including Drew Barrymore, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Buscemi, Dana Carvey and Luis Guzman, spoke of Sandler’s creative longevity, sometimes mocking his uneven filmmaking and tendency to feature all his friends in the film. Movies.

Sandler’s longtime writing and producing partner Tim Herlihy joked that the pair were responsible for “31 movies with a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 59.”

Buscemi, known primarily for dramatic and often violent roles, portrayed a series of comedic characters in Sandler’s films.

“He takes his comedy very seriously. Everything I do with him makes me laugh hard,” he said.

Buscemi also scored Sandler’s musical comedies, including “The Chanukah Song,” which became a multiplatinum hit. “His comedy songs alone deserve this award,” he said.

Judd Apatow, a roommate of Sandler’s in their early days in Los Angeles, recalled the young Sandler’s boundless confidence and obvious talent.

“The moment you met him, you knew Adam was going to be a big star,” Apatow said. “And Adam too.”

To highlight Sandler’s seemingly limitless comedic energy, Apatow played an old video he made of a young Sandler jokingly calling local diners in his spare time to try out different comedic voices.

At the end of the night, Sandler credited his parents and siblings for arming him with “a weird irrational confidence that I think I still have.”

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Sandler, 56, first came to national attention as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” After being fired as an actor after a five-year stint, Sandler embarked on a wildly successful film career that spanned more than 30 films and grossed more than $3 billion worldwide.

Sandler’s greatest hits include “Happy Gilmore,” “The Wedding Singer” and “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.” Although mostly known for slapstick comedy and adult child characters, he has appeared in many dramatic roles in films such as ‘Punch Drunk Love’ and ‘Uncut Gems’.

Guzman, who starred in Punch Drunk Love, admitted that he initially thought Sandler was “in his depth” for the dramatic role, written by writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. But he came back impressed, praising Sandler’s “total commitment to what has been his element for us so far.”

Other comedians who have received the Lifetime Achievement Award include the inaugural Richard Pryor in 1998, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chappelle. Bill Cosby, a 2009 recipient, saw his Mark Twain Award revoked in 2019 amid multiple allegations of sexual assault.

Comedy institution “SNL” has provided more than its share of 24 Mark Twain recipients. Sandler is the seventh actor to receive the award, joining Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Farrell, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Show creator and producer Lorne Michaels won in 2004.

The ceremony will be broadcast on CNN on March 26.

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