It only took 24 years, but Adam Sandler is back on SNL to host an all-new Saturday Night Live tonight!!
During 2018 – 2019, first-time hosts have dominated SNL – Season 44. Tonight, Adam Sandler becomes the 13th first-timer this year, which actually sounds really odd. Shouldn’t Adam Sandler have hosted the show before now? Sandler always seemed like a beloved member of the Saturday Night Live cast when he was on the variety series for 5 seasons in the early to mid-90’s, so that alone should have been reason enough to have him back to host, and definitely way before 2019! It’s been 24 years since his last SNL episode, and it’s not like Adam Sandler hasn’t had anything to promote in the past two dozen years. Few performers have put out movies and projects at the speed that Sandler has since his film career took off in 1995. So why hasn’t Adam Sandler been back to host Saturday Night Live!?
One reason could be simply because Adam Sandler never wanted to host SNL. Just five years ago, another former SNL cast member, Norm Macdonald, asked Sandler on his podcast, why he won’t host Saturday Night Live. Sandler’s response was, “Why should I? I don’t know how good it would be. I’m slow now.” Even though, Sandler had made guest appearances on SNL, hosting was still not a gig he claimed to be interested in doing. He also told Norm, “There are guys who love doing it, who are great at doing it. I just don’t know how good I’d be doing it. I did what I could do on that show.”
Adam Sandler’s reluctance to return to Saturday Night Live after becoming a comedy mega-star could also involve how he left the show back in 1995. What a lot of SNL fans didn’t know up until almost 10 years ago, was that it wasn’t Adam Sandler’s choice to leave SNL. In 2010, Sandler appeared on the last week of the “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” The shortest tenured host in “Tonight Show” history knew his own fate. Conan wasn’t willing to share his late night hour with the returning Jay Leno who had, at this point, orchestrated his return to behind the “Tonight Show” desk. Conan was being shown the door by NBC and Adam Sandler came to commiserate with him. That’s when Adam Sandler revealed how much the two had in common. He said, “I did get fired also. Back in the day. Nobody wanted to tell me the truth that I was getting fired.” Sandler meant fired from Saturday Night Live and fired by NBC. The network’s story was that it was due to low ratings.
In a recap of the interview on EOnline, Sandler told Conan O’Brien how it all went down at SNL and how it not only included him getting canned, but also beloved SNL cast member Chris Farley. He said, “And then all of a sudden Farley ran into my office and is like, ‘We’re getting fired!’ “Me and him got fired. That’s when my manager at the time came up with, ‘NBC: Nothing But C—-!’ ” We would fill in the missing letters if we knew for sure which C-word, Sandler used underneath NBC’s bleep. So the reason, Adam Sandler has taken so long to come back to Saturday Night Live to host the show, could be more for personal reasons than professional ones.
A recent NBC press release included comments from SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels about Sandler’s return. He seemed pleased to have Adam Sandler back where his career first took off, but he didn’t get overly emotional about it either. In his typical cool Lorne demeanor, he said, “We are happy to welcome Adam back to ‘SNL’ in what is sure to be a special night.” Gee, don’t get all choked up on us Lorne.
There will be two things Adam Sandler is promoting tonight, one that’s already out, one that’s still to be released, and both of which are available on Netflix. He’s got a new comedy movie coming to the streaming giant next month called “Murder Mystery.” The comedy whodunit co-stars Jennifer Aniston (reunited with Sandler from the 2011 rom-com “Just Go With It,”) as a couple on a European vacation who get caught up in an elderly billionaire’s murder on his yacht. Some of the movie was shot in different locations in Italy, so it looks like Sandler booked another vacation movie which in reality is an actual vacation.
The other project that Adam Sandler is receiving positive comedy buzz for, is his Netflix hour-long stand up special, “Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh.” The comedy special features an original musical tribute to Sandler’s dear friend and SNL co-star, Chris Farley. The song and video package that plays along with Sandler in “100% Fresh” is equal parts nostalgic, sweet and tear-inducing. You can see the tribute performance here on the Interrobang which accurately states that the musical memorial will “break your heart.” If Adam Sandler was going to repeat this affectionate accolade, SNL would be the most appropriate venue for an encore.
Adam Sandler’s road to SNL stardom started off in 1990 when he was first hired as part of the Saturday Night Live writers’ room for SNL – Season 16. Before his inaugural season was even complete, Adam Sandler’s role on Saturday Night Live was about to expand as a large part of SNL history would start being written.
Sandler joined the cast as a featured cast member in mid-season during the second half of SNL – Season 16. His first show wasn’t until February, 1991 half-way through his debut season. Season 16 was another transitional cast season on Saturday Night Live. However, it didn’t happen in the usual way where a bulk of the regular repertory cast members cycle out and a lot of new cast members come on board. In Adam Sandler’s first season on the show, Lorne Michaels kept most of the more experienced cast while still bringing on a huge amount of new blood. At one point during SNL – Season 16, there were 16 listed cast members. There were so many cast members, they were divided into three groups for the first time in the show’s history. Repertory Players, Middle Cast Members and Featured Cast Members which included Sandler.
Adam Sandler was let go after SNL – Season 20, his final season, which wrapped in May, 1995. The sting of being let go by NBC probably didn’t hurt for too long because 1995 was also the same year that Sandler’s cult comedy classic “Billy Madison” came out, launching the Saturday Night Live outcast into a stellar comedy film career. The movie is still quoted by Sandler fans nearly 25 years later. “T-T-T-TODAY JUNIOR!!”
“Billy Madison” led to a crowded IMDB page of comedy classics from Adam Sandler, still rerunning on cable television today including “Happy Gilmore” which immediately followed “Billy Madison” in 1996, “The Wedding Singer“, “The Water Boy“, “Big Daddy“, and the critically acclaimed “Punch-Drunk Love“, to name only a small few. After a few missteps, Sandler found a new career path in film with more family friendly comedy movies like “Bedtime Stories“, “Hotel Transylvania,” the animated comedy movie series, and the slapsticky “Grown Ups” films.
In 2014, Adam Sandler created film history when he reinvented movie deals by basically bringing back the old studio system when he reached an exclusive four picture deal with Netflix. When details on the Adam Sandler deal with Netflix became public, it had the entire movie industry buzzing. Sandler extended that original deal and is continuing his powerful Netflix partnership today.
Looking at what might be included in tonight’s live SNL – Adam Sandler reunion party, tonight’s host has offered some clues. Sandler was on Late Night with Seth Meyers this week and told Seth, “I love Lorne (Michaels,) and I wanted to see him and do it with him and be on the show and bring back some guys, but I gotta tell you, it’s knocked me out.” He added, “I’m so knocked out right now.” So who are these “guys” that Adam Sandler wants to bring back? Sandler and David Spade have been almost inseparable professionally since they both left Saturday Night Live, so he would definitely be someone you will most definitely see come back on Sandler’s watch. Especially if they want to recreate their Saturday Night Live drag characters, the “Gap Girls,” which they performed with partner Chris Farley.
Other former SNL cast members with strong connections to Adam Sandler include Andy Samberg who has done the “Hotel Transylvania” cartoon comedies with Sandler and the comedy movie, “That’s My Boy.” Chris Rock who has done the “Grown Ups” comedies and “The Longest Yard” remake with the man his friends affectionately call “Sandman,” might appear tonight. Another member of the “Grown Ups” who is also an SNL alum is Rob Schneider, who we wouldn’t be surprised to see this evening. And Kevin Nealon is an SNL / Weekend Update veteran who appeared in the Sandler flicks “Happy Gilmore” and “The Wedding Singer“. And we’ve already mentioned Norm Macdonald who also ran SNL’s Weekend Update news desk and appeared with Sandler in “Billy Madison” and “Funny People.”
Plus, there’s original Saturday Night Live – “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” member Dan Aykroyd who’s done two films with Sandler, “50 First Dates” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” co-starring Kevin James who is also a possibility for a cameo tonight.
Other members of “Adam Sandler’s Crew” who have appeared in multiple Sandler projects include Steve Buscemi, who when he does comedy, it’s usually a Sandler comedy (“Hotel Transylvania 1,2 & 3“, “Grown Ups 1 & 2“, “Big Daddy“, “Mr. Deeds“) along with Nick Swardson (“Jack and Jill“, ” The Ridiculous 6“, “ Just Go with It“), Allen Covert (” 50 First Dates“, “Little Nicky“, “The Wedding Singer“) and Peter Dante (“The Waterboy“, “That’s My Boy “, “Mr. Deeds“). Any one or any combination of these Sandler loyalists could make an appearance on tonight’s all new Saturday Night Live.
Besides a possibly cameo crowded show tonight on Saturday Night Live, this week SNL tweeted out a photo featuring Adam Sandler and cast member Kenan Thompson with Sandler holding a guitar. So we can expect Adam Sandler to do his own musical number in addition to musical guest Shawn Mendes doing two performances himself. We already talked about Sandler possibly doing his Chris Farley tribute song from his Netflix special “Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh.” If that’s not what the pictured guitar is for, then maybe we’re getting either an original number or a follow-up to one of Adam Sandler’s songs that became famous on Saturday Night Live. Those could include “Lunch Lady Land” which Sandler performed on SNL with Farley in lunch lady drag complete with hairnet, the “Thanksgiving Song” also known as “Love To Eat Turkey“, “Red-Hooded Sweatshirt” which debuted on Weekend Update on a Valentine’s Day segment and of course, the most famous Sandler song ever from SNL, “The Hanukkah Song” which Sandler has already updated a few times on Saturday Night Live.
Hopefully, we can expect to see the return, 24 years later, of some of Adam Sandler’s Saturday Night Live recurring characters including Opera Man (a Weekend Update favorite), The Herlihy Boy (which was more of Chris Farley performance piece than a Sandler one), the one-word answer Weekend Update political correspondent Cajun Man and Canteen Boy who may have been a prototype of Sandler’s movie character, “The Water Boy” and who had a psychotic power over snakes and other wild creatures.
Other things from our ever crazier real life that could find their way onto a new SNL tonight includes our U.S. Attorney General William Barr talking to the Senate to protect all of President Trump’s attempts at obstruction of justice listed in the Mueller Report, plus Barr “chickening out” and not showing up to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee and being in contempt of Congress. The Barr story is tonight’s best bet to make it into the SNL – Cold Open. Previously, cast member Aidy Bryant had been admirably handling the cross-gender duties of playing the Attorney General. However, now that USAG William Barr has become a lead player in the soap opera that is the Trump Administration, SNL may go outside the cast to find someone to play him. Twitter has lit up in the past days with people lobbying for Lorne Michaels to bring in Patton Oswalt to play the Attorney General. We’ll see if their efforts pay off.
Other sources of inspiration from the news that may end up on SNL tonight in sketches, digital shorts or on Weekend Update include voice actor Jim Cummings, the longtime voice of “Winnie the Pooh,” being accused of sexual abuse and animal cruelty by his ex-wife. That would make quite an SNL – Digital Short with Winnie the Pooh becoming the animal badass of the Hundred Acre Wood. Also there’s the Billboard Music Awards, Marvel’s superhero mega-hit “Avengers: Endgame“, game show superstar James Holzhauer shattering records and ratings on “Jeopardy!“, “Game of Thrones” wrapping up and the NFL Draft including President Trump being sure to not acknowledge the overall #1 pick Kyler Murray who is African-American, but instead congratulating the 2nd overall pick Nick Bosa who won the fandom of the President more with his dubious tweets than his playing on the field. Bosa had called controversial NFL QB Colin Kaepernick a “clown” and had liked Instagram posts featuring racist and homophobic slurs. Trump’s kinda guy!
There’s one other showbiz item which probably won’t get covered this week on Weekend Update, or will it? SNL cast member Pete Davidson finds himself making headlines again but also again, not for anything funny. This time Pete walked on a sold-out audience at Vinnie Brand’s Stress Factory Comedy Club in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The IBang has all the details in our article, “Pete Davidson Bails on Stress Factory Gig, Blaming Owner Vinnie Brand“. Will Pete take Update time to address this latest situation or will it get ignored by SNL? We all find out tonight. After all, even if Pete does want to turn this latest weird episode into comedy, he might get bumped for Opera Man on Weekend Update tonight.
We’ve provided the promos for tonight’s all new Saturday Night Live below for your enjoyment and so you don’t have to go searching all over YouTube for them. In the first promo, Adam Sandler has such a lengthy volume of work from his 5 seasons on Saturday Night Live that he’s a host who’s earned the 15 second SNL career montage promo. It’s a quick trip back in time 24 years to see some of Sandler’s biggest SNL highlights.
In the next promo, things get weird while Adam Sandler takes a nostalgic tour down the hallways of Studio 8-H. He’s enjoying looking at some framed photos of his SNL memories and then the pics start to hit too close to home. Fortunately, cast member Kenan Thompson is there to make everything all right, or do the eyes say it all??
The third set of promos features host Adam Sandler along with musical guest Shawn Mendes and cast member Leslie Jones. Sandler and Leslie comment on how it’s taken the host 24 years to return to SNL, and Toronto’s own Shawn Mendes answers back in what really sounds like a British accent, but then it’s Canada – Britain, Potayto – Potahto, it’s all the same thing, right? Also, Adam Sandler has something important to say after all these years away from SNL and Leslie Jones is there to take care of her baby.
Adam Sandler returns home to host Saturday Night Live in an all-new episode tonight, live coast-to-coast at 11:30pm et on NBC!
SNL continues with live shows next week with another new episode hosted by Emma Thompson with her musical guest, the Jonas Brothers!