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Hollywood celebrates Adam Sandler as ‘King of Comedy’ gets Mark Twain prize

The ‘Happy Gilmore’ actor won his second prestigious comedy award of the month.

The ‘Happy Gilmore’ actor won his second prestigious comedy award of the month.

Adam Sandler’s friends and colleagues gathered for a night of celebration, as the comedian and actor was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Sunday night.

The event consisted of hours honoring and roasting Sandler, who was crowned ‘King of Comedy’ at the 2023 Kids’ Choice Awards, with the big crescendo of Sandler accepting his award and giving a speech to his smiling pals.

The 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony is set to broadcast March 26 at 8 p.m. EST.

Adam Sandler makes his speech

After countless speeches honoring Adam Sander for his work in comedy, the award winner himself took the stage to make a speech.

As I look at this goofy award I’m holding,” Sandler mused, eyeing the bronze statue he was holding, “I can’t help but think that one day it might be the weapon used to bludgeon me in my sleep by a disgruntled intruder or possibly Mr. Rob Schneider.”

Sandler went on to thank his family and friends for helping to build up his confidence using comedy from a young age. He half-joked that they are responsible for “that weird irrational confidence thing that I guess I still have.”

Though they have created a monster, Sandler continued, for he is now a “delusional” adult  “who is now the proud owner of the 2023 Mark Twain Award for Athleticism, Sexual Prowess and Guitar Virtuosity.”

Turning the cheek to critics

In his speech, Sandler commented on what most actors find most challenging: the criticism.

The ‘Happy Gilmore’ actor said that low ratings and bad reviews don’t measure up to him feeling good about himself.

“The reason they don’t hurt me is because so many in this room have made me feel good about what we did together,” Sandler declared. “Everything we do together makes me feel like the critics don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Steve Buscemi weighs in

Steve Buscemi, a frequent flier in Sandler’s films, said to his friend: “Nobody makes me laugh like you and nobody has taken better care of me in this business than you.”

“He does this for all his friends. He’s done this for so many people.”

He takes his comedy very seriously,” Buscemi continued. “I laugh hard at everything I do with him.

“His comedy songs alone deserve this reward,” he said.

The celebrity parade to congratulate Sandler

Several of Sandler’s other friends and co-stars gave speeches or made personal comments in tribute to Sandler’s career — either of sincere encouragement, or a friendly job to keep Sandler on his toes.

Drew Barrymore, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Buscemi, Dana Carvey, and Luis Guzmán were all presenters and spoke of Sandler’s creative talent and poked fun at him for casting all his friends in his movies.

“A lot of amazing, amazing people have flown to DC to say nice things about Adam Sandler,” Conan O’Brien said. “But have you asked yourself why so many of Adam’s friends were available to speak tonight? I’ll tell you why. Because when Adam isn’t working, they’re not working.”

Meanwhile, Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler’s longtime writing and production partner, laughed at the pair’s sometimes poor ratings.

31 motion pictures with a combined Rotten Tomatoes score of 59,”  Herlihy lamented comically.

Producer Judd Apatow, Sandler’s roommate in his early days in Hollywood, recalled Sandler’s confidence and talent even then.

“The moment you met him, you knew Adam was going to be a big star,” Apatow said. “And so did Adam.”

Other celebs to chime in Sandler’s celebration at the 24th annual Mark Twain Prize were David Spade, Rob Schneider, Ben Stiller, Idina Menzel, Luis Guzmán, Pete Davidson, and Tim Meadows.

Sandler has made more than 30 feature films — most of them comedies — with some of his most popular movies including ‘Billy Madison’, ‘Grown Ups’, and ‘The Wedding Singer’.

Some more serious roles Sandler has taken on have been ‘Punch Drunk Love’ and ‘Uncut Gems’, for which the actor won Best Male Lead at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards for his role as Howard Ratner.