Movie Reviews

Adam Sandler's Forgotten Connection Highlights His Hollywood Importance

The successful career of Adam Sandler should speak for itself, but he actually has an often-forgotten Hollywood connection that further emphasizes his status as a legend of comedy. After getting his start in the world of stand-up comedy, Adam Sandler’s big break came with his role on Saturday Night Live. However, it was only after being fired from SNL that Adam Sandler’s career really took off, when starring roles in Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore made Sandler a household name and a bankable comedy superstar.

Since the ’90s, Adam Sandler has enjoyed consistent success. Though there may be a very vocal contingent of detractors, Sandler’s consistent output of easy-to-watch comedies has helped him maintain a level of cultural visibility that has contributed to his reputation as one of the most prolific comedy stars of all time. Though not every Adam Sandler movie receives critical praise, he has peppered in enough impressive dramatic performances to earn himself a reputation as a versatile performer and near-perfect entertainer. Although Adam Sandler is a divisive figure, he has risen to the pinnacle of modern comedy, making himself one of Hollywood’s highest-earning comedy stars.

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Though Adam Sandler’s movie career is particularly impressive, he does have one major comedy rival in Judd Apatow. One often-overlooked fact about the pair of would-be rivals is that they’re actually old friends: early in their careers they actually lived as roommates for a period of time. Perhaps the reason that this Hollywood tidbit is so often forgotten is that the pair rarely collaborate – Sandler is most often seen alongside the likes of Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Kevin James, while Apatow is best known for his regular work with Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Paul Rudd. However, the pair’s connection highlights Sandler’s massive success simply by comparison.

Judd Apatow is an undeniable legendary comedic talent. As the creator of the brilliant but notoriously short-lived series (Freaks and Geeks, which was unjustly canceled after only one season) as well as multiple well-loved comedy movies such as The 40-Year-Old VirginKnocked Up, and This Is 40, Apatow’s reputation as a genius comedy storyteller speaks for itself. However, the fact that he and Sandler once shared a close friendship actually highlights just how massively successful Sandler is. When comparing the pair’s respective careers, Sandler comes out ahead by a significant margin.

As brilliant as Apatow’s work is, his career has simply never reached the heights of Sandler’s. Adam Sandler managed to tap into a unique brand of relatable, down-to-earth comedy that appeals to the broadest possible audience, and that’s something that has served him incredibly well. Even though Apatow’s films generally received far more critical praise, they’ve not achieved the same level of success as Sandler’s movies (perhaps evidenced by Sandler’s estimated $420 million net worth).

That Adam Sandler is also a great actor may have also given him something of an edge over his old friend, as he’s a much more visible component of his own success. Apatow’s role as the man behind the camera may have contributed to the fact that he hasn’t outshined Sandler. While both men are legends of modern comedy movies and hugely successful in their own right, the connection between Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler only serves to highlight the latter’s huge career success.

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