Sandler’s friends showed admiration and respect for the actor during his speech. Some spoke about how big a presence he has in the industry and how he hires friends and crew members he’s worked with in the past.
“He makes a lot of people work,” said Luis Guzman.Guzman, who co-starred in punched run club, He said he initially thought Sandler was “out of his depth” in that film’s lead role, but was blown away by his commitment to a character that was “far from his element”.
“Many amazing, amazing people flew to DC to say good things about Adam Sandler… but have you asked yourself why so many of Adam’s friends were able to speak tonight?” Conan O’Brien said. “I will tell you why, because when Adam is not working, neither are they.”
Steve Buscemi, who often appears in Sandler’s films, said, “No one makes me laugh like you do, and no one in this industry cares about me more than you do.
“He’s doing this to all his friends,” Buscemi added. “He’s done this for so many people.”
Prior to the event, Drew Barrymore, who played Sandler’s romantic interest in several films, gushed about his authenticity.
“You don’t get another person another day,” she told reporters on the red carpet. Some are over a year old.”
The Kennedy Center presents this award to a notable comedian each year. Past winners include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy and Steve Her Martin. The ceremony will air on CNN on March 26th at 8pm ET.
The Mark Twain Award is Sandler’s second prestigious comedy award in just one month. In early March, he was named King of Comedy at his 2023 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.