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Adam Sandler honoured for contribution to American humour

The actor and comedian will receive the Kennedy Centre’s Mark Twain Prize on Sunday.

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Adam Sandler

Actor and comedian Adam Sandler will be honoured by comedic and entertainment royalty when he receives the Kennedy Centre’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humour on Sunday night.

Sandler, 56, first came to national attention as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

After being fired from the cast following a five-year stint, Sandler launched a wildly successful movie career that has spanned more than 30 films, grossing more than 3.0 billion US dollars (£2.46 billion) worldwide.

“Adam Sandler has entertained audiences for over three decades with his films, music, and his tenure as a fan favourite cast member on SNL,” said
Kennedy Centre president Deborah Rutter said in a statement when Sandler’s prize was announced in December.

Humor Prize Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler first came to fame as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“Adam has created characters that have 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 overgrown man-child characters, Sandler has also excelled in multiple dramatic roles such as the films Punch Drunk Love and Uncut Gems.

Mark Twain recipients are honoured with a night of testimonials and video tributes, often featuring previous award winners.

Other comedians receiving the lifetime achievement award include: Richard Pryor (the inaugural recipient in 1998), Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chapelle.

Bill Cosby, the 2009 recipient, had his Mark Twain Prize rescinded in 2019 amid multiple allegations of sexual assault.

The long-running comedy institution SNL has provided more than its share of the 24 Mark Twain recipients; Sandler is the seventh cast member to receive the prize, joining Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy and Julia Louise-Dreyfus.

Show creator and producer Lorne Michaels won in 2004.

Among those scheduled to honour Sandler on Sunday night, according to the Kennedy Centre, are: 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 broadcast nationally on CNN on March 26.

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