Adam Sandler let his two daughters write his hilarious, self-deprecating speech as he accepted a Career Tribute award at the 2022 Gotham Awards Monday, Nov. 28.
Sandler started the speech by joking that his two kids called him out for not having the energy to write his own speech before offering to do it for him. Sandler agreed and noted that his kids had just one other condition: “Will you do the speech in that goofy Southern accent you do all your dumb speeches in?” Of course, he obliged.
The speech got off to a fantastic start, with Sandler reading, “Dear well-dressed dignitaries, highly-educated hipsters, and various other plus-ones of the Gotham Awards: Thank you for giving our daddy, Mr. Adam Sandler, this prestigious lifetime, all-time, primetime, GOAT achievement tribute award… It means a lot to him, seeing as most of the awards on his trophy shelf are shaped like popcorn buckets, blimps, or fake mini-Oscars that say ‘Father of the Year,’ which he sadly purchased himself while wandering in a self-pitying fog through the headshops of Times Square.”
Sandler’s speech was peppered with an array of self-deprecating jokes about his career. When he embarked on his film career in the late Eighties, he said one of his guiding principles was “TBS needs content to show between all them fucking basketball games.” Of Big Daddy, he cracked that his kids could remember the smash comedy as the film that launched the careers of Cole and Dylan Sprouse or the movie that paid for their house, their grandmothers’ houses, Rob Schneider’s house, their braces, and Rob Schneider’s braces.
When discussing some of his “more serious” endeavors, like Punch Drunk Love and Uncut Gems, Sandler joked that these films “left audiences baffled as they pondered the mystery: How did Bobby Boucher get all up in my feelings and make me laugh, cry, and sprint directly to church to ask God why he had blessed one man with more talent than the entire cast of The Poseidon Adventure and Mama Mia combined?”
Sandler, and his daughters, saved the most important “thank you” for last, with the comedian quipping, “Thank you, mommy, for putting up with daddy and his crazy fucking mood swings all these years. Now that truly is a feat deserving of a lifetime achievement award.”
Sandler then dropped the voice and added, “I appreciate everything… This means a lot. I had a great career, I had a great time making all these movies, and I thank everybody who worked hard on them.”
Sandler received a warm introduction from Josh and Benny Safdie, the brothers who directed him in 2019’s Uncut Gems (and who are reportedly working with Sandler on a new project). The pair recalled watching Sandler on Saturday Night Live and listening to his 1993 comedy album, They’re All Gonna Laugh at You! with the volume turned down so their dad wouldn’t hear.
Benny Safdie then ran through Sandler’s remarkable run of films from Billy Madison to Punch Drunk Love and proceeded to call Sandler the “industrial revolution of actors.” This prompted Benny to repeat, word-for-word, the classic “everyone in this room is now dumber” speech from the big academic decathlon scene in Billy Madison.