Sandler Receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Adam Sandler received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain award.
Photo: Netflix

Comedian and Pacific Palisades resident Adam Sandler has been making audiences laugh for decades. Now he has received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center. The event was held last weekend and was filled with Sandler’s celebrity friends. It was taped to air this Sunday, March 26, on CNN.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter wrote in making the selection that “Adam has created characters that have made us laugh, cry, and cry from laughing.”

Conan O’Brien was one of the comics honoring Sandler at the ceremony. Photo: TBS

At the time Rutters said, “We are looking forward to celebrating his career at a ceremony that is sure to bring together the best in comedy and provide all the laughs.”

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 movies have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide and include box box office hits such as Grown UpsBig Daddy, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Uncut Gems, the 2005 remake of 1974’s The Longest Yard and The Waterboy.

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. Sandler 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. DeedsAnger Management50 First DatesHotel TransylvaniaGrown UpsClickBedtime StoriesMurder MysteryThe Wrong Missy, ABC’s The Goldbergs and CBS’s Rules of Engagement.


Jennifer Aniston co-starred with Adam Sandler in “Murder Mystery.”  Opening at the Bay Theater this weekend is “Murder Mystery 2,” which also stars Sandler and Aniston.                                                              Photo: Alexi Lubomirski

The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was created to recognize individuals who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the name Mark Twain.

Clemens was known as a social commentator, who had an uncompromising perspective on social injustice and personal folly.

The inaugural Mark Twain Prize was presented to Richard Pryor during the first annual Kennedy Center Celebration of American Humor in 1998.

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

Other Palisades residents who have received the award are Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Billy Crystal (2007) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (2018).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus was awarded the Mark Twain Prize at Kennedy Center in 2018.

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