Adam Sandler reflects on growing up since his SNL days: 'I made a lot of dumb mistakes'
Adam Sandler in his 50s is not the same person as Adam Sandler in his 20s.
In an interview with AARP published Wednesday, the actor and comedian looked back on his more excitable days at Saturday Night Live, first as a writer from 1990 to 1991 and then as a cast member from '91 to '95. "I'm calmer than I used to be," said Sandler, 56. "I used to go nuts. I had a quick temper, quick reactions. I made a lot of dumb mistakes and said a lot of stupid things."
Looking back at some of his relationships, "I could be an ass," he admitted. "I was selfish. I was competitive with other comedians and stuff. My father would say, 'That guy's funny,' and I would say, 'Hey, I'm funny, blah, blah,' and he'd be, like, 'Why can't you both be funny?'"
At the time, Sandler had a hunger to be the next big thing. "I didn't always see clearly then," he recalled.
"I wanted to be a big comedian like Eddie Murphy, like Rodney Dangerfield," Sandler continued. "I'm still a nut. I still get anxious. If things are taking too long, if I'm waiting downstairs for my wife to get dressed, I'm, like, 'What the hell's going on up there?'"
These days, though, the Uncut Gems star has a fuller appreciation of other comedians, including the new cast of SNL.
"I appreciate other people's talent now rather than competing with it — in every field, in every sport, every part of showbiz," he said. "A lot of young comedians, a lot of the new cast on SNL, they just make me laugh now. I'll watch somebody and say, 'Man, they're great. I never would have thought of that joke or that approach.' Or my kids will throw on some fresh song or podcast and I'll go, 'That's so cool.'"
It's not lost on Sandler that he's now at an age that a younger version of himself would poke fun at, gracing the cover of AARP magazine and all. "It feels great. It makes sense. I'm getting older," he said. "That doesn't mean I feel old. I mean, I do when I'm on the basketball court and an 18-year-old kid hears I'm 56 and says, 'Wow! I thought you were younger than that!' But I like my age, and it's fun to play my age. It's freeing."
That hasn't stopped Sandler from tapping into his youth either. The Sandman is currently shooting his new comedy You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!, based on the YA novel by Fiona Rosenbloom. He's set to star in and produce the Netflix film, which follows a young girl as she prepares for one of the most important events of her life — her bat mitzvah — only to have her plans unravel when she catches her BFF kissing her crush.
The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.