WASHINGTON (AP) – Actor-comedian Adam Sandler will be honored by comedy and entertainment royalty when he receives the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday night.
Sandler, 56, first came to national attention as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” After being fired from the cast after a five-year stint, Sandler embarked on a wildly successful film career that spanned more than 30 films grossing over $3 billion worldwide.
“Adam Sandler has entertained audiences for over three decades with his films, music and his tenure as a fan-favorite cast member on ‘SNL,'” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement. “Adam has created characters that made us laugh, cry and cry from laughing.”
Sandler’s top hits include “Happy Gilmore,” “The Wedding Singer” and “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.” Although primarily known for slapstick comedy and half-baked human-child characters, Sandler has also excelled in several dramatic roles such as “Punch Drunk Love” and “Uncut James”.
Mark Twain recipients are honored with a night of testimonials and video tributes, often featuring past award winners. Other comedians to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award include Richard Pryor (the inaugural recipient in 1998), Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett, and Dave Chappelle. Bill Cosby, the 2009 recipient, had his Mark Twain Prize revoked in 2019 amid multiple allegations of sexual assault.
The long-running comedy institution “SNL” has provided more than its share of 24 Mark Twain recipients; Sandler is the seventh artist to receive the award, along with Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator and producer, won in 2004.
According to the Kennedy Center, those honoring Sandler on Sunday night include Jennifer Aniston, Judd Apatow, Drew Barrymore, Steve Buscemi, Dana Carvey, Luis Guzman, Tim Herlihy, Tim Meadows, Idina Menzel, Conan O’Brien, Chris… Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade and Ben Stiller.
The ceremony will be televised nationally on CNN on March 26.
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