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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. He’s Charitable
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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. He’s Worth How Much?!
Depending on the source you read, estimates place Sandler’s net worth at anywhere from $300 to $400 million. Not bad!
11. Neil Diamond Has Covered One Of His Greatest Hits
Sandler’s infamous “Chanukah Song” debuted on “SNL” on December 3, 1994. It’s become a comedy holiday classic and even Neil Diamond has recorded a rendition of it.
12. 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.
13. 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.”
14. 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.
15. He Could Have Been In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’
Did you know Sandler was considered to voice the part of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s spitfire Rocket Racoon? Of course the part eventually went to Bradley Cooper.
16. 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.
17. He’s On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
In 2001, his star became star number 2,431 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Happy Days” star and Sandler collaborator Henry Winkler spoke at the dedication ceremony.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.