It makes sense that Adam Sandler’s workweek doesn’t really get rolling till 11:30 on Saturday night. After all, the guy could barely deal with the regular schedule of grade school. ”If I would be out of school for a day, I’d watch Love Boat reruns and then Family Feud and stuff,” says the Manchester, N.H., native. ”I’d be so excited I’d fake sick for the rest of the week.” Now entering his fourth season as SNL’s resident enfant terrible, at least Sandler no longer needs to play hooky to get his TV fix.
In fact, he’s likely to be SNL‘s next breakout star, mostly on the strength of his foppishly wigged, hankie-waving ”Weekend Update” commentator Opera Man, who sings the news like a puckish Pavarotti:
Amy Fish-er, Butta-fuo-co./El-knock-oh, El-shoot-oh.
En jail-oh, No bail-o./ Senor-a, You’re a whor-a.
”I don’t know what happens,” says Sandler, 27. ”When I get into costume, my personality changes automatically.” Other psyches in his SNL repertoire: the patois-spewing Cajun Man, the fumbling Canteen Boy (based on an old neighbor), and lead barker in the spoof grunge band Dogs. Outside SNL‘s studio 8-H, he recently finished work on Airheads, a film about a wacky band, and this month will release a comedy album, they’re all gonna laugh at you!
Sandler has been trying to get ’em to laugh with him for a decade. At 17, he made his disastrous stand-up debut at Boston’s Stitches Comedy Club: ”I remember going on stage, not knowing what to say, hearing some drunk guy slurring, ‘He’s got a retainer.”’ Undeterred, Sandler, who lives in Manhattan with his girlfriend, continued doing stand-up while an undergrad at NYU before SNL‘s Lorne Michaels hired him on. As Opera Man himself might say: Small-town kid-oh, TV gig-oh./Master of dissing-oh, Molto bravissimo!