Comedian, movie star and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Adam Sandler opened up in a recent interview about the early days of his career when his dreams of stardom were almost shattered by stage fright and a lack of funds.
In the interview with Sharyn Alfonsi, Sandler revealed that going to NYU for college had the added benefit of allowing him to frequent New York City's many stand-up comedy venues to try out new material and sharpen his skills as a performer. However, it meant that he had to take on the classic mantle of a broke college student.
“Oh, money?” he said in the interview. “I think it was 10 bucks a night, 10 bucks. That was good. Didn’t care.”
In addition to making very little money before getting his big break on “SNL,” Sandler revealed that stage fright posed a problem for his performing career early on. Fortunately, he could rely on another talent of his to pull through — the guitar.
“I was so nervous every time. Then I'd get up there and I wouldn't remember what I was supposed to say and go blank,” he explained. “And you have the guitar in your hands, and that way I was at least doing something.”
He agreed with Alfonsi’s assessment that putting comedy to music was his “security blanket.”
The move worked and Sandler stacked up several fun comedy tracks throughout his career, such as “Lunch Lady Land,” “The Hanukkah Song” and his most recent hit, a tribute to his late “SNL” cast member and friend Chris Farley.
Sandler said that he thought his path to success at the beginning of his career was to do his best to emulate Eddie Murphy, which meant getting on the popular late-night sketch show first and foremost.
“I was very driven, man. I don't know what the hell was going through my head,” he said.
Starting this weekend, Sandler can be seen next in a significantly more dramatic role than most of his fans are used to: the often unlikeable character Howard Ratner in "Uncut Gems."