Adam Sandler Given 'Props' by Chris Rock, Jennifer Aniston and More as He Receives Mark Twain Prize
Adam Sandler received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, when Jennifer Aniston, Chris Rock and Pete Davidson were among the celebrities who toasted — and roasted — the star.
"We all work hard, but nobody works as hard as the Sandman," Rock, 58, who has known Sandler, 56, for 30 years, said during the ceremony.
Referencing how his friend did not receive an Oscar nomination for his 2019 movie Uncut Gems, the comedian added, "Nobody comes even close, so the Oscars, you know, they're f----- a-------, and if they don't want to give my man his props, then we will tonight."
Rock also took the opportunity to mention his own Oscars moment, when he was slapped onstage by Will Smith, by shouting out former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul, who was attacked in the couple's San Francisco home last year.
"Paul Pelosi, the only guy who knows how I felt," Rock said, drawing laughter from Sandler and the rest of the audience. "Just me and you, Paul. Just me and you, babe."
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Aniston, 54, and Drew Barrymore, who have both played Sandler's love interests onscreen, later performed a routine where they took turns sharing all things Sandler has done for each of them over the years — most of which ended up being the same. They then joked that they will appear together in a movie without Sandler.
"We should do that movie that you and I have been talking about," Aniston said, to which Barrymore, 48, responded: "You mean the one where we don't need that goofy boyfriend?"
On the red carpet, Barrymore was asked about her onscreen chemistry with Sandler.
"It's all based in love, admiration and humor. I just always believed in him so much, and not that my opinion matters, but I just felt like this is the guy. This is the one. All us women were so in love with him on SNL," she said. "I was so there for what Adam Sandler was putting out into the world that I just wanted to be next to it. I wanted some place to put my admiration, and I thought a film was the most safe and cathartic place to do it."
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Sandler's other pals also took time to lovingly joke about the former Saturday Night Live cast member, including Rob Schneider, who performed his own version of Sandler's song "Grow Old With You" from the 1998 movie The Wedding Singer.
"Nobody gave Adam Sandler his success. Adam earned this through his hard work in a really tough business, show business," he said. "People ask me: why does Adam put me in so many movies? And it's because he wants to laugh and share his tremendous success with his friends, plus I will do really humiliating s--- that he won't do."
"Adam is a very generous guy," David Spade added. "He has hired his whole family tree to work for him. The call sheet looks like Ancestry.com."
Davidson, 29, meanwhile, described Sandler as his "hero," and added that the star-studded lineup was there not only to honor him, but also to remind everyone "how much better SNL was in the '90s."
As clips from Sandler's SNL days were peppered throughout the entire ceremony, along with scenes from his classic comedies like Happy Gilmore, Davidson told the crowd he auditioned for Sandler's 1999 movie Big Daddy, but didn't get the part.
"Thank God I didn't get it because I can't even handle fame now, so imagine what that would have been like. The Suite Life of Pete and Pete," he said, referring to Dylan and Cole Sprouse — who scored and shared the Big Daddy role — and their popular Disney TV series, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Conan O'Brien, Dana Carvey and Judd Apatow also toasted their fellow friend and comic.
RELATED: Drew Barrymore Says She 'Would Show Up' for Another Movie with Friend Adam Sandler
By the time Sandler accepted the prize, he was beaming and thanked his close friends and family for coming to honor his achievement.
"Everybody was great. I love you and thanks for working so hard on all of your stuff and writing your very great jokes and I just love tonight," he said.
Sandler also noted that his family gave him the support and confidence he needed to become successful.
"When it came time to pick my college major, my brother was the one who said I should be an actor. I said, 'Well, what am I going to do with my life?' He said, 'You should be an actor. You're as funny as Rodney Dangerfield and Eddie Murphy.' And I never thought that, but he sort of just made me feel like I was," he said. "And that's what my family really did for me. They gave me some insane, weird confidence about myself that I guess I still carry today."
He added, "I feel like everyone who came and spoke up there, I think we all truly love each other. We have each other's backs for life. People always would ask me those bad reviews you get, how does that make you feel, like s---? It really doesn't. I think the reason I get to say it didn't hurt me is because so many of you guys in this room made me feel great about what we've done together."
The Mark Twain Prize ceremony airs March 26 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.