In The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler’s lovesick lead character famously sang about growing old with waitress Drew Barrymore. Yet in real life, the comedian has grown old with his fans, in all of the best ways.
If you grew up in the 90s, you may love Sandler for his Opera Man character on Saturday Night Live or as Billy Madison banging shampoo and conditioner bottles together. In the 2000s, you may have found yourself facing the difficulties of relationships and adulthood, much like his characters in Anger Management, 50 First Dates, and Funny People. These days, you may be among the parents taking your children to see the latest Hotel Transylvania cartoon.
Sandler’s been a staple in Hollywood (and our lives) for so long, it’s easy to forget that he started out as a standup, making a name for himself before Saturday Night Live. His comedy roots, however, have been thrust back into the spotlight of late, with his highly acclaimed 100% Fresh concert movie, and a tour that will see him return to The Chelsea stage at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on June 15.
Like An Old Friend Coming to Visit
Those who saw the comedian during his first multi-show residency at The Chelsea in 2017 know that Sandler is as great as he ever was, he’s just a little older and wiser. Much of his newest material is built around his life as a family man, but don’t worry, the Billy Madison voice (you know the one) still comes out, especially when he picks up a guitar.
Sandler has always done some of his best work with the song, as evidenced by his tribute to late pal Chris Farley. His Las Vegas fans know that the tribute song, which earned him global accolades during his May 2019 Saturday Night Live hosting gig, originated during his standup comedy comeback tour, and was featured heavily in his previous Cosmopolitan appearances.
The Las Vegas shows also acted as a Grown Ups reunion tour, with some of Sandler’s longtime SNL and movie collaborators serving as opening acts – Norm MacDonald and David Spade, among them.
We’ll have to wait until June 15 to see who’s coming back and what new songs Sandler has written for the Chelsea crowd. Until then, we’re gearing up with some of our favorite Sandler scenes.
Sandler Shows How to Stretch Your Halloween Dollar
The comedian’s first year as a featured player on Saturday Night Live featured a number of memorable sketches and characters, but it was Sandler being himself in this Weekend Update segment that endeared him to a generation of fans. Using his body, voice, and a bevy of random objects, Sandler demonstrated all of the “homemade” Halloween costume ideas that kids could use during the 1991 recession. “Crazy Plant-Arm” might be the best one.
Billy Madison Tumbles For Ya
In his second starring role (following 1989’s little-seen Going Overboard), Sandler introduced the world to dim-witted underachiever Billy Madison, who aspires to finish grades K-12 in 24 weeks in order to win control of his father’s hotel company. In one of the movie’s many inexplicable, “Why is this here? Who cares it’s funny!” moments, Billy dances down a flight of stairs to Culture Club’s “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” Long before YouTube, it inspired many a Sandler fan to reenact the scene with a home video camera.
Once Again It’s Chanukah, With a Children’s Choir and Rob Schneider
Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” has become a legit holiday classic, and over the years he’s remixed the lyrics to include new mentions of Jewish celebrities. This 2002 performance, in which the comedian is joined by a children’s choir (dubbed the “Drei-Dels”) and fellow SNL-alum Rob Schneider, stands out as one of the best versions ever recorded. Fun fact: Sandler performed the song for Las Vegas crowds during his first stand-up concert at The Chelsea in 2017.
‘There’s Something Wrong With His Medulla Oblongata’
In 1998’s The Waterboy, stuttering, soft-spoken Bobby Boucher seized on his repressed anger to become an elite college football linebacker. The film tries to balance two familiar sides of Sandler’s comedic style: sweet and enraged. In one scene, he is challenged by a Colonel Sanders-ish college professor over the medulla oblongata, the “sector of the brain which controls aggressive behavior.” Eventually, Bobby is pushed too far, and the professor pays the price. It truly is one of the best Adam Sandler movie moments.
Sandler and Chris Farley Serve Sloppy Joe’s in ‘Lunch Lady Land’
This 1994 SNL performance served as a tribute to the “person who, more than anyone else, puts young people on the right path” and stands out as one of Sandler’s best songs. That his lunch lady tribute featured pal Farley as the titular character makes this clip even more memorable.
Adam Sandler returns to The Chelsea on June 15. Tickets can be purchased via The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas website.