Adam Sandler Recalls His Very First SNL Episode, And It Sounds Like A Doozy

Adam Sandler in The Waterboy
(Image credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Adam Sandler is one of the most recognizable funny men in Hollywood, and that has been the case for a few decades. Now that he is making a little bit of a comeback in the drama genre, fondly coined the Adamssance, the Big Daddy actor has recalled his very first Saturday Night Live episode, and the whole experience sounds like a real doozy.

In an interview with IMDb where he was quizzed on his past credits, Adam Sandler talked about his very first Saturday Night Live episode and the celebrity who hosted. Turns out Sandler has a pretty clear memory of the night, remembering that it was Tom Hankswho has had a number of great SNL characters. 

Apparently Adam Sandler couldn’t catch his breath on stage of Saturday Night Live on his very first night, but he still regards it as one of coolest nights of his life. Said the actor,

First time I appeared on screen, I think it was Tom Hanks. [DING] Yes! I remember gasping for air, that I was so scared, and that I was going to faint. And I remember loving Edie Brickell that night. Man, that was just probably the coolest night of my life with just saying, 'It’s official, I’m on Saturday Night Live.' Because I was on air.

It's heartwarming to see Adam Sandler reminisce back to his very first Saturday Night Live appearance. Sandler is at a point in his career where SNL might just be the furthest thing you think of when thinking of when it comes to his work, even though it’s still very much a relevant show and puts out some pretty great laughs. 

For someone near the beginning of their career, though, it's understandable that standing on the same stage as Tom Hanks was wildly nerve wracking and breathtaking. Even though the Saturday Night Live episode in question was before some of Hanks’ biggest hits like Forrest Gump and Sleepless in Seattle, he had already made a name for himself in the business with roles in Big, Turner and Hooch and the cult classic The 'Burbs. So while he wasn’t the Tom Hanks we know today, he was a very serious face in Hollywood entering one of the peaks of his career

Adam Sandler, on the other hand, was just a kid at the time. (Ok, he was in his early to mid-twenties, but we know from Billy Madison that Sandler is just one big kid if the mood strikes.) Sandler wasn’t well known or even really known at all at that point. Films like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore wouldn’t come out until around the time he was done on Saturday Night Live, a few years later.

Adam Sandler’s story about being a nervous wreck on stage of Saturday Night Live goes to show what amazing things can happen if you get through the worst parts of some pretty great experiences in life. Sandler has gone on to do so much and bring so much joy to people’s lives through his comedy. 

You can catch his new 2022 film, Hustle, on Netflix now, and while it’s not a purely comedic film, it’s certainly one that has crushed on Rotten Tomatoes and makes us want to see more sports films from the star

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.