Actor and producer Adam Sandler will host Saturday Night Live in May. From 1991 to 1995, he was a cast member on the iconic sketch comedy series. Sandler’s return marks his first time hosting Saturday Night Live.
On Saturday Night Live, Sandler was known for portraying buffoonish characters, and often displayed his musical talent during the Weekend Update segment. Upon reportedly being fired from the show, along with popular castmate Chris Farley, Sandler embarked on a feature film career, and starred in popular mid-'90s comedies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. By the late ‘90s, Sandler transformed into a bankable Hollywood A-lister, thanks to the success of mainstream comedies like The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, and The Waterboy. For the past 20 years, Sandler has produced films through his company Happy Madison Productions. In 2014, Netflix announced a deal with Sandler’s production company, which has resulted in numerous films since, with the latest being the upcoming Murder Mystery starring Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, and Luke Evans.
Per Deadline, Sandler will host Saturday Night Live on May 4, with Shawn Mendes set to perform as the musical guest. In the late ‘80s, Sandler formed a friendship with former Saturday Night Live Weekend Update anchor Dennis Miller, who introduced him to the series’ creator, Lorne Michaels. Sandler joined Saturday Night Live as a writer in 1990, and then became an official cast member in 1991. His first credited on-screen appearance is the 10th episode of Saturday Night Live season 16, which was headlined by Joe Mantegna and Vanilla Ice. Sandler last appeared in a Saturday Night Live episode on May 6, 1995. On Instagram, Saturday Night Live teased Sandler's upcoming hosting gig.
While Sandler’s Netflix films have mostly received less than positive reviews, they’re popular among Netflix subscribers. In April 2017, the streaming service reported that users spent “half a billion hours” watching Sandler films since the December 2015 release of The Ridiculous 6. Currently, The Ridiculous 6 has a zero percent Rotten Tomatoes score, and it was followed by Sandy Wexler, which fared slightly better at 27 percent. For Naum Baumbach's 2017 Netflix film The Meyerowitz Stories, Sandler surprised fans and critics by taking a more subdued approach with a throwback performance that’s similar to his starring role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2002 film Punch-Drunk Love. Last year, Sandler released a Netflix stand-up special titled Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh, which was well received by fans and critics alike.
For nearly a quarter century, Sandler fans have been anticipating his return to Saturday Night Live. Now, it’s official, and he’ll be able to deliver his brand of low-brow comedy to a new generation of viewers, and will hopefully offer something fresh as well. Given Saturday Night Live’s inclination toward political matters, Sandler may temporarily shift the comedic focus, or perhaps offer his own spin on the latest big news headline.