- Sep 9, 1966
- Brooklyn, New York
One of the most endearing goofballs to ever grace the stages of Saturday Night Live, affectionately offensive funnyman Adam Sandler has often been cited as the writer/performer who almost single-handedly rescued the long-running late-night television staple when the chips were down and it appeared to have run its course. Though his polarizing antics… More Bio:
One of the most endearing goofballs to ever grace the stages of Saturday Night Live, affectionately offensive funnyman Adam Sandler has often been cited as the writer/performer who almost single-handedly rescued the long-running late-night television staple when the chips were down and it appeared to have run its course. Though his polarizing antics have divided audiences and critics who often dismiss him as lowbrow and obnoxious, Sandler's films, as well as the films of his Happy Madison production company, have performed consistently well at the box office despite harsh and frequent critical lashings.
Born in Brooklyn on September 9th, 1966, it may come as no surprise that Sandler was a shameless class clown who left his classmates in stitches and his teachers with a handful. Never considering to utilize his gift of humor to pursue a career, Sandler eventually realized his potential when at the age of 17 his brother encouraged him to take the stage at an amateur comedy competition. A natural at making the audience laugh, the aspiring comedian nurtured his talents while attending New York University and studying for a Fine Arts Degree. With early appearances on The Cosby Show and the MTV game show Remote Control providing the increasingly busy Sandler with a loyal following, an early feature role coincided with his "discovery" by SNL cast member Dennis Miller at an L.A. comedy club. As the unfortunately named Shecky Moskowitz, his role as a struggling comedian in Going Overboard (1989) served as an interesting parallel to his actual career trajectory but did little to display his true comic talents.
It wasn't until SNL producers took Miller's praise to heart and hired the fledgling comic as writer on the program that Sandler's talents were truly set to shine. Frequent appearances as Opera Man and Canteen Boy soon elevated him to player status, and it wasn't long before Sandler was the toast of the SNL cast in the mid-'90s. While appearing in SNL and sharpening his feature skills in such efforts as Shakes the Clown (1991) and Coneheads (1993), Sandler signed a recording contract with Warner Bros., and the release of the Grammy-nominated They're All Gonna Laugh at You proved the most appropriate title imaginable as his career began to soar. Striking an odd balance between tasteless vulgarity and innocent charm, the album found Sandler gaining footing as an artist independent of the SNL universe and fueled his desire -- as numerous cast members had before him -- to strike out on his own. Though those who had attempted a departure for feature fame in the past had met with decidedly mixed results, Sandler's loyal and devoted fan base proved strong supporters of such early solo feature efforts as Billy Madison (1996) and, especially, Happy Gilmore (1996).
His mixture of grandma-loving sweetness and pure, unfiltered comedic rage continued with his role as a slow-witted backwoods mama's boy turned football superstar in The Waterboy (1998), and that same year found Sandler expanding his persona to more sensitive territory in The Wedding Singer. Perhaps his most appealing character up to that point, The Wedding Singer's combination of '80s nostalgia and a warmer, more personable persona found increasing support among those who had previously distanced themselves from his polarizing performances.
As the decade rolled on, Sandler also appeared in the action-oriented Bulletproof (1996) and the even more affectionate Big Daddy (1999). In 2002, Sandler starred in a re-imagining of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, titled simply Mr. Deeds.
Beginning in the late nineties, Sandler's Happy Madison production company launched such efforts as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999), Little Nicky (2000), The Animal and Joe Dirt (both 2001). Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo appeared in (2005), and Grandma's Boy in (2006). Despite critical castigation for scraping the bottom of the barrel with these effort
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