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Adam Sandler accepts Mark Twain Prize for humor - as comedy pals sweetly roast him along the way

Enter the Sandman...

By Josh Weiss
Adam Sandler

Mazel Tov! Adam Sandler's indelible contributions to the world of comedy were officially recognized over the weekend when the entertainment renaissance man accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

The side-splitting event was attended by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Ben Stiller, Judd Apatow, Conan O'Brien, Chris Rock, Tim Meadows, Luis Guzman, Drew Barrymore, Tim Herlihy, Jennifer Aniston, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Idina Menzel, Steve Buscemi, and Dana Carvey — nearly all of whom took the opportunity to crack friendly jokes at the expense of the honoree.

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"Have you asked yourself why so many of Adam’s friends were available? Because if Adam isn’t working, they aren’t working," quipped O'Brien (via The Hollywood Reporter), poking fun at Sandler's habit of casting his close buddies in his own starring vehicles.

"His work feels effortless," remarked Stiller, who starred alongside Sander in Noah Baumbach's 2017 dramedy The Meyerowitz Stories. "I don’t want to say ‘lazy,’ because that’s not the right word…but I don’t have a better word right now, so let’s go with it."

Not all of the speeches were depreciative, though. Buscemi, for instance, thanked Sandler for including him in so many cinematic productions throughout the years (the two originally shared the screen in 1994's Airheads). "It’s the greatest feeling in the world to be a part of your world," Buscemi said. "No one has taken better care of me in this business than you have."

"He makes hundreds of hours of work look like going on vacation with his friends," echoed Sandler's longtime creative partner (and former NYU roommate) Tim Herlihy.

During his acceptance speech, Sandler addressed the disparaging feedback his movies have received from over the years, explaining how he's been able to drown out the critics for so long. "And when someone asks me: 'Those bad reviews you get — how does that make you feel?' The reason they don’t hurt me is because [my friends and I are having so much fun making these movies]. Everything we do together makes me feel like the critics don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Want to relive the Sandman's greatest hits? All seasons of his Saturday Night Live tenure between 1990 and 1995 are streaming on Peacock. A collection of his big screen efforts — including Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, and Funny People — are available from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.