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It was a veritable love fest at the Kennedy Center in D.C. March 19, when a trove of Adam Sandler’s friends and colleagues toasted and roasted the funnyman as he received the 24th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Previous award winners include Richard Pryor, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Carol Burnett and David Letterman. Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see when the gala performance airs March 26 at 8 p.m. on CNN.
Don't miss: Adam Sandler reflects on his family and career with AARP.
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Sandler gave his friends jobs — and they repay him by razzing him
Sandler, 56, a standup comic who broke out on Saturday Night Live, then became the star and auteur of over $3 billion worth of movies, is known for casting his friends. This became a running joke all evening at the tribute. “The best job opportunity at NYU was living in the general vicinity of Adam,” joked Judd Apatow of Sandler, a New York University alum. “Because when Adam isn’t working, they aren’t working,” joked Conan O’Brien.
Conan O’Brien says that for once, Sandler did not dress like a slob
O’Brien, who suggested that Sandler may have thought Mark Twain was Shania Twain’s cousin, said that he “even dressed up tonight ... a change from his usual basketball shorts with a Hawaiian shirt.” Schneider was impressed that Sandler “was able to find a suit made out of gym short material.”
Steve Buscemi and Luis Guzmán agree that Sandler’s a nice guy
Guzman called him “one of the coolest, realist people I have ever met ... a good man, good husband, good father and good son, and he put a lot of people to work.”
Buscemi, drink in hand, said Sandler never seems to hire him for movies shot in Hawaii or South Africa, “but D.C., it’s ’Let’s get the Busc on a bus and get him down here.’ Touchingly, he turned to Sandler and said, “Nobody has taken better care of me in the business than you. When I hear you laugh at the funny thing you told me to say, I’m in heaven. Knowing you and your talent and your big heart, the best is yet to come.”
Sandler sees the down side of winning the nation's top honor for comedy
When he was presented with the bronze bust of Mark Twain, he joked, “As I look at this goofy award, I can’t help but think that one day it just might be the weapon used to bludgeon me to death.”
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