Adam Sandler returned to the “Saturday Night Live” stage as host for the first time in 24 years, and of course there were silly voices, equally absurd songs and one rather poignant tribute.
A popular staple of “SNL” in the early 1990s who made his hosting debut Saturday, Sandler starred in a faux commercial about erectile dysfunction, played himself in a “Sandler family reunion” sketch where various current cast members (as well as Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig) did their best Sandler impressions, and even brought back one of his fan-favorite characters.
“Weekend Update” welcomed home Sandler’s Opera Man, who poked fun at “Game of Thrones,” the Kentucky Derby, James Harden, female presidential candidates, William Barr, Rod Rosenstein and “Long Shot” (with Sandler pointing out he had on-screen romances with the likes of Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston way before Seth Rogen hooked up with Charlize Theron in the new film).
In his opening monologue, Sandler said being on “SNL” was “the greatest time of my life” and also addressed his firing in 1995 with a song called – appropriately – “I Was Fired.”
“I had some of the best years of my life here,” Sandler said. “I actually lost my virginity to a woman in this studio. I don’t kiss and tell but it was the Church Lady. She said I was special.”
Fellow former castmate Chris Rock joined him to sing about his own firing: “Then I went on ‘In Living Color,’ and three weeks later, they took it off TV.” Current “SNL”-er Pete Davidson came out to sing his own refrain, and Sandler reminded him he wasn’t fired. “I wasn’t? How is that even possible?” Davidson said, with Sandler responding, “I don’t know but be patient, because it’s coming soon.”
Sandler took a couple shots at the network. “I guess NBC had enough Crazy Spoon Head and the songs I sang on the news. Maybe they were sick of Canteen Boy but I think they just hate the Jews,” he sang to a wave of applause. And the former star got the last laugh: “NBC said I was done. Then I made over $4 billion at the box office, so I guess you could say I won.”
But the night ended on a bittersweet note when Sandler came out with a guitar and sang a tribute to his buddy Farley, who died of a drug overdose in Chicago in 1997 at age 33. With clips of Farley from “SNL” and his movies playing in the background, Sandler recalled memories of his hard-partying friend (“We’d tell him, ‘Son, you’ll wind up like Belushi and Candy,’ he said, ‘Those guys are my heroes, that’s all fine and dandy’ “) and how now he shows his children YouTube clips as well as Farley’s old movies. “Life ain’t the same without you,” he sang. “If we make enough noise, maybe he’ll hear us.”
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