Adam Sandler made a return to Saturday Night Live 24 years after he was fired from the NBC sketch-comedy show that launched his career. In his opening monologue, the comedian burst into song to answer the often-asked question about why he left SNL in 1995.
“I was fired,” Sandler sang, per NBC News. The comic added that he tried to call SNL creator Lorne Michaels but he never called him back, then surmised the show must “just hate the Jews.”
Adam Sandler was joined by fellow past cast member Chris Rock, who sang the same tune about the end of his three-year run on SNL in the 1990s. And when current SNL star Peter Davidson chimed in to sing about how he was also fired, Sandler corrected him to tell him that it hasn’t happened yet, but “be patient, ’cause it’s coming soon.”
Sandler ended his opening song with the line, “NBC said that I was done. Then I made over four billion at the box office, so you could say I won.”
Adam Sandler was a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1995. During his memorable reign on the show, the young comic played characters such as Cajun Man, Opera Man, and Canteen Boy and he debuted his famous holiday tune, “The Chanukah Song.”
In a 2014 interview with The Daily Beast, Adam Sandler said he never knew exactly why he and fellow castmate Chris Farley were fired from Saturday Night Live just as their movie careers were taking off. The two SNL stars were canned in 1995, the same year that Sandler’s Billy Madison debuted at No. 1 at the box office and Farley’s comedy classic Tommy Boy, which was produced by Lorne Michaels, was released.
“It was the end of the run for us,” Sandler said of him and Farley. “The fact that me and him got fired? Who knows. We were on it for a few years, had our run, and everything happens for a reason. It hurt a lot at the time because we were young and didn’t know where we were going, but it all worked out.”
In a second, solo performance during his return to Saturday Night Live, Adam Sandler also paid tribute to his late friend and former cast mate Chris Farley, who died in 1997 of an accidental drug overdose. Sandler played the guitar and sang that on Saturday nights his man Chris “would always deliver… whether he was the Bumblebee Girl or livin’ in a van down by the river.”
Adam Sandler previously told The Daily Beast that Chris Farley was a “tour de force on the show and dominated” anyone he came across.
“There’s nobody that can walk into a room and take over better than Farley,” Sandler said. “I haven’t seen anyone since he’s gone that’s taken that spot. He’s the strongest presence I’ve ever seen.”
In addition to his new SNL songs, Adam Sandler brought the classic Opera Man character to the “Weekend Update” segment. In a hilarious bit, Sandler’s famous Saturday Night Live character sang about the HBO hit Game of Thrones and offered up a line about Attorney General William Barr, who was a no-show for a day of testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week.
“Where did Barr go?” Sandler sang. “He did not show. Check every single Wendy’s.”
Saturday Night Live also paid tribute to Adam Sandler’s SNL and movie characters in a skit with guest stars Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, and Shawn Mendes. In the skit, Sandler was at a family reunion where he was accused of basing his characters—including Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy and the title character from Billy Madison—off of his real-life family members.
Saturday Night Live is currently in its 44th season on NBC.