Roseanne Barr Almost Sang ‘Chanukah Song’ Instead of Adam Sandler
When Roseanne Barr sings, it rarely goes well. Decades before she was constantly in hot water for foul tweets and unhinged podcast appearances, she got roasted for her tone-deaf version of the national anthem before a baseball game. Yanking on her crotch and spitting at the song’s conclusion didn’t help win over the patriots.
So Barr seems like an odd choice to croon Adam Sandler’s holiday classic, “Chanukah Song.” And yet it almost happened. Barr was the Saturday Night Live host during the week in 1994 when Sandler penned his famous ode to celebrities who light the menorah.
On the one hand, it made sense. Barr is a Jewish comedian herself (although she didn’t warrant a mention in any of the four versions of the song). In 1994, she was one of the biggest comedy stars in the world. And, well, she was the host after all.
But divine intervention occurred via Barr herself. “They were talking about Roseanne singing it, and she was nice enough to say ‘No, let Adam do that, that’s his, he wrote it, that’s his song,’” Sandler told Access Hollywood this week. Instead of a throwaway Weekend Update bit for Barr, “Chanukah Song” became one of Sandler’s signature SNL bits, as well as the inspiration for his animated film, Eight Crazy Nights.
“I’m happy to be a part of Hanukkah,” Sandler said. “That was a good time of life to be associated with the song and the holiday. Very proud of that.”
And he’s not tired of the song yet. “I sing it alone, I sing it without the kids, I go into our basement, I rip it out, I do the soft-shoe to it,” he joked. “No, if it comes on the radio, and I hear it, I get excited, that’s still awesome.”
Barr’s gift to Sandler was a present to all of us, a genuine holiday miracle. Instead of this:
We could have got something like this:
God bless us, every one.