Every Adam Sandler Guest Spot Where He Plays Himself, Ranked
Ever since getting fired from Saturday Night Live, Adam Sandler has had to resign himself to the sad existence of being an enormously successful movie star. (Poor bastard.) Sometimes he’s hilarious, sometimes he’s in a stunningly good dramatic role and sometimes he makes stuff like Jack and Jill.
Regardless of the occasional clunker, though, The Sandman has never lost his A-list luster, which means he’s had little time for TV. That said, he has made a few appearances as himself. Here then is every Adam Sandler as himself TV cameo ranked by just how “Adam Sandler” he is, starting with…
Jessie was a Disney Channel show that aired from 2011 to 2015 about a woman born on a military base who moves to Manhattan to be a star but ends up a nanny (all of which I just looked up on Wikipedia). One episode saw Sandler pop up to serve punch at a school dance for one of the kids Jessie nannies.
There are obviously some attempts at humor — Sandler says the punch was made in Kevin James’ bathtub — but he looks uncomfortable amidst the broad “Disney Channel acting.” Sometimes Sandler appears shy on talk shows, but the hokey kids’ show writing here leaves him with little to do and feeling very un-Sandler-like.
Furthermore, the guest spot is retroactively blanketed in sadness. Sandler likely agreed to it because Jessie star Cameron Boyce played his son in the Grown Ups movies. In 2019, the 20-year-old Boyce tragically passed away after an epileptic seizure.
Celebs can be hilarious when mocking themselves for being overly pampered idiots, but it didn’t really work for Sandler in Real Rob, a sitcom about a fictionalized version of Rob Schneider. In one episode, Sandler talks to Schneider on the phone while flying a drone that gets blown up by a police helicopter. He then later yells at Schneider for not joining him on a spontaneous trip to Greece. Both scenes seem out-of-character for Sandler, who is widely known to be a chill dude off-camera.
A shy, awkward Sandler showed up in an episode of Undeclared. In one scene, he’s hanging out with fawning college kids when one of them lets slip that he doesn’t like any of Sandler’s movies after Billy Madison. Still remaining bashful enough, Sandler leans into his assistant and asks for the kid to be removed. It’s a little more sensitive than you’d imagine the real Sandler to be, but the understated self-parody works far better here than it did in Real Rob.
Sandler plays himself bidding on antiquities during an auction where Andy Samberg’s Detective Jake Peralta is undercover as the auctioneer. Like Jessie, this one features another joke at Kevin James’ expense, except it’s far funnier. In an exchange with Samberg, Sandler is trying to defend his credibility as a serious filmmaker, bragging that he’s writing a movie about the Russian Revolution. Samberg snaps back, “Oh really? Who does Kevin James play in it?” and Sandler replies, “It’s a serious movie… Trotsky.”
After that, Sandler gets onstage and asks the fellow bidder to name a price to have him put one of his socks in Samberg’s mouth. It’s a very funny guest spot that allows Sandler to poke fun at himself while still seeming like himself.
The Larry Sanders Show
Still an SNL cast member at the time, Sandler appeared as a talk show guest on The Larry Sanders Show. He sings a song about a pet chicken called “My Little Chicken,” which includes the incredible lyric “If an egg can fit in there, why can’t I?” This is all Sandler does in the episode, but it perfectly encapsulates what Sandler’s old talk show appearances were like, and the song is funny as hell to boot.