The Mercury News
Adam Sandler receives Mark Twain Prize, praise from comic pals
>> Adam Sandler placed his hand on the bronze bust of Mark Twain and speculated that it “one day might be the weapon used to bludgeon me in my sleep.”
A host of comedic and entertainment royalty gathered at Washington's Kennedy Center as Sandler was presented with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Presenters including Drew Barrymore, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Buscemi, Dana Carvey, and Luis Guzmán gave testimonials to Sandler's creative longevity, while poking occasional fun at his uneven movie output and tendency to cast all his friends in his movies.
Sandler's longtime writing and production partner Tim Herlihy joked that the pair were responsible for “31 motion pictures with a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 59.”
Buscemi, known largely for dramatic and often violent roles, portrayed a string of comedic characters in Sandler movies.
“He takes his comedy very seriously. I laugh hard at everything I do with him,” he said.
Buscemi also singled out Sandler's musical comedy, including “The Chanukah Song,” which became a multiplatinum hit. “His comedy songs alone deserve this reward,” he said.
Judd Apatow, Sandler's roommate during their early days in Los Angeles, recalled a 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 so did Adam.”
To highlight Sandler's seemingly limitless comedic energy, Apatow played an old video he recorded of a young Sandler prankcalling a local deli in his spare time to try out different comedic voices.
At the end of the night, Sandler paid tribute to his parents and siblings for arming him with “that weird irrational confidence thing that I guess I still have”
The ceremony will be broadcast nationally on CNN on March 26.