Everyone knows and loves Adam Richard Sandler for his comedic skills and his goofy roles in film. The actor and comedian was born on September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York, to middle-class, Jewish parents and, at the age of six, moved to Manchester, New Hampshire. During his teenage years, Sandler participated in BBYO, a non-profit Jewish group. After high school he went to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he graduated in 1988.
In 1987, when he was starting out in his career, Sandler starred on The Cosby Show and on Remote Control, an MTV game show. Two years later Sandler was spotted during one of his comedic performances in Los Angeles by a Saturday Night Live, who recommended him for the iconic TV show. SNL then hired Sandler as a writer and in 1990 he made his first appearance on screen, contributing amusing performances to the show. Sandler was fired from SNL in 1995.
Although Adam Sandler films weren’t exactly well received by the press and critics, he nonetheless had a series of box office successes by the late 1990s, such as Billy Madison (1995), Bulletproof (1996), and comedies Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Wedding Singer (1998). By 1999, Sandler had formed his own film production company, Happy Madison Productions, which went on to produce most of Sandler’s subsequent films to this day. Most of his films are usually considered bad, but still perform well at the box office. Sandler has even been nominated numerous times for the Raspberry Awards, the opposite of an Oscar—an award for bad acting, direction, etc.
Sandler’s first positive reviews with the critics happened with his 2002 film, Punch-Drunk Love by Paul Thomas Anderson, which even earned him a nomination for a Golden Globe award. This marked Sandler’s transition into more adult and serious roles, as he had been previously typecast into more “childlike adult” characters, by now a signature act for him.
Adam Sandler continued to produce and also write more comedic movies, such as I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), and starred as the title character in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008.) That same year he made his debut on a Disney family-oriented film with Bedtime Stories in 2008, always reprising his distinctive funny and goofy, but lovable character-type.
In 2015, Sandler released his last theatrical film, Pixels, before he began starring in a series of Netflix productions. Sandler’s first original film for the streaming company was the Western comedy film The Ridiculous 6. Sandler also starred in another Netflix film in 2016, titled The Do-Over with David Spader. In May 2019, Sandler returned to Saturday Night Live, this time as host, for which he later received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. That same year, Sandler reunited with former co-star Jennifer Anniston after having starred together in Just Go With it (2011) for the Netflix feature Murder Mystery, a film that broke the record for the biggest opening weekend in the company’s history.
Since then, Adam Sandler has kept himself busy by starring in both comedies and dramas, and has recently announced a four-movie deal between his production company and Netflix. Although we may laugh and mock his comedy movies, his performances in dramas and thrillers are constantly praised.