Pacific Palisades’ Adam Sandler to Receive Mark Twain Award

Adam Sandler performing at a recent comedy tour.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present its 24th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to Adam Sandler on March 19, 2023, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor recognizes individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain.

Clemens was an observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.

“Adam Sandler has entertained audiences for over three decades with his films, music, and his tenure as a fan favorite cast member on SNL,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “Adam has created characters that have made us laugh, cry, and cry from laughing. I am looking forward to a laughter-filled evening like no other as we celebrate his career at a ceremony that is sure to bring together the best in comedy.”

As a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Sandler will receive a copy of an 1884 bronze portrait bust of Mark Twain sculpted by Karl Gerhardt (1853–1940).

Adam Sandler
Photo: Jeff Kravitz, Film Magic

Over the past 30 years, Sandler has enjoyed success as a comedian, actor, writer, producer and musician.

His career took off after a five-year stint on Saturday Night Live (1990 to 1995), followed by a long string of comic films.

Sandler’s films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide and include box offices hits such as Grown Ups, Big Daddy, The Longest Yard, The Waterboy, and Hotel T. His films on Netflix are some of the most watched films on that streaming service, including Murder Mystery, The Meyerowitz Stories, and Hubie Halloween.

Hustle, Sandler’s latest Netflix film, was co-produced by LaBron James. The Palisadian has been critically acclaimed for his performance as basketball scout and in November, he was given a performer tribute at the Gotham Awards, which awards honor independent films and television.

Sandler has received nine People’s Choice Awards, five MTV Movie Awards, and ten Kids Choice Awards. He has also been nominated for a Golden Globe® Award, four Emmy® Awards, and three Grammy® Awards for his multiple comedy albums.

Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions has produced many successful films and television shows including Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, Hotel Transylvania, Grown Ups, Click, Bedtime Stories, Murder Mystery, The Wrong Missy, ABC’s The Goldbergs and CBS’s Rules of Engagement.

Sandler’s latest sold-out comedy and music tour ran from mid-October until earlier this week. Now he’s on a break, and will hit the road again in February.

Also up for Sandler are Netflix films Spaceman of BohemiaMurder Mystery 2, and You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.

It appears the only thing missing in this Palisadian’s resume is serving at the town’s honorary mayor.

Three other current or former Palisadians, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, also have won the Mark Twain Prize, which was created in 1998.

Previous recipients of the Prize include: Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009; rescinded in 2018), Tina Fey (2010), Will Ferrell (2011), Ellen DeGeneres (2012), Carol Burnett (2013), Jay Leno (2014), Eddie Murphy (2015), Bill Murray (2016), David Letterman (2017), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018), Dave Chappelle (2019), and Jon Stewart (2022).


Sponsorship packages for the Mark Twain Prize gala performance, which start at $1,300 and include a pre-performance reception, gala performance tickets, and a post-performance celebration, are on sale now and can be reserved online or through the Development Office by emailing

Performance tickets will be available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, online at, and via phone through Instant Charge, (202) 467-4600; toll-free at (800) 444-1324.

For all other ticket-related customer service inquires, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540. (Visit the Mark Twain Prize webpage at


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