Adam Sandler honored with Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and Chris Rock were also among those in Washington, D.C. this weekend to celebrate Sandler, who worked on Saturday Night Live in the 1990s and moved on to films.

Big names including Steve Buscemi, Conan O'Brien come out to honor Adam Sandler

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The people in Washington last night celebrating Adam Sandler included Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and Chris Rock. Sandler was collecting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Comedians love to rib each other. Conan O'Brien first met Adam Sandler when they worked on "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s.


CONAN O'BRIEN: A lot of amazing, amazing people have flown to D.C. to say nice things about Adam Sandler. But if you asked yourself why so many of Adam's friends were available to speak tonight, I'll tell you why. 'Cause when Adam isn't working, they aren't working.

BLAIR: Sandler is known for his loyalty. He often works with the same team of writers and actors. Before the show, I talked to Robert Smigel, who also met Sandler on SNL.

ROBERT SMIGEL: When he started at SNL, he was a complete original, so much so that half the crew had no idea what he was doing.

BLAIR: Sandler created misfit characters like the creepy kid looking for housesitting jobs.


ADAM SANDLER: (As The Herlihy Boy) Hello. Let me water your plants.


BLAIR: He's also known for his songs, like "Lunchlady Land."


SANDLER: (Singing) Hoagies and grinders, hoagies and grinders. Navy beans, navy beans. Meatloaf sandwich. Sloppy Joe, sloppy, sloppy Joe.


STEVE BUSCEMI AND DANA CARVEY: (Singing) Sloppy Joe, sloppy, sloppy Joe.

BLAIR: That's Steve Buscemi and Dana Carvey, who broke into song on the red carpet. Buscemi has appeared in several of Sandler's films.


STEVE BUSCEMI: Nobody makes me laugh like you. And nobody has taken better care of me in this business than you.

BLAIR: After "SNL," Sandler went on to make a lot of movies - "Billy Madison," "Happy Gilmore," "The Wedding Singer." Drew Barrymore is a big fan of Sandler's goofball energy.

DREW BARRYMORE: Adam can go to the farthest depths, but somehow he does it without alienating people. And that is a true art as far as comedy is concerned.

BLAIR: Sandler's comedies have alienated some critics over the years, but they've also grossed more than $3 billion worldwide.


SANDLER: Hello, my name is Adam Sandler.

BLAIR: At the end of the night, he took the stage.


SANDLER: And I am the 2023 Mark Twain Humor Prize award recipient for greatness in American funny and bringing the thunderous belly laugh to the sweet people of planet Earth. Can I get a hell yeah?


BLAIR: The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor airs on CNN on March 26.

Elizabeth Blair, NPR News, Washington.

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