Okay, maybe it wasn't the best cast in the 44-year run of Saturday Night Live, but Adam Sandler's return to the show this weekend took you back in time to the early 1990s, at least when it came to watching the iconic late night comedy.
Sandler's return was his first time on the SNL stage in 24 years. The first time since being fired from the show in 1996. Sandler's monologue was a song about that, and we immediately flashed back to the musical and comedic talent that went along with all of those silly voices.
Sandler joined the show in 1990 as a writer. According to his Wikipedia page, he was discovered in a club by Dennis Miller. He joined the cast the following year, with guys like Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, Tim Meadows, Kevin Nealon, David Spade, and others. Rock appeared with Sandler during his monologue, and sung his own verse of “I was fired.”
The first thing that one would think of when finding out that Sandler was hosting, was that he'd better do 'Opera Man' during weekend update. He did, and it did not disappoint. The little vignettes with his silly Italian accent included the Game of Thrones finale, two 70 year-old men (Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders) as front-runners in the Democratic field for President, and even the NBA playoffs. He also took a shot at the movie Long Shot for featuring a goofy man and a pretty lady—just like all of his movies.
The sketches in this weekend's show were not all that memorable except for one. It was a Sandler family reunion, with just about everyone in the current cast getting to do there own Sandler impression. Silly, of course, but that's too be expected, and appreciated.
An unexpected turn came at the end of the show. SNL usually puts its worst sketch after the musical guest's final song, because they must figure that most people had gone to bed by then. But, after a song by Shawn Mendes and a commercial, they came back with a shot of Sandler holding a guitar. What followed was a tear-jerker—a six minute tribute to the late Chris Farley, who was fired along with Sandler and Rock in 1996, and died of a drug overdose at the age of 33, in 1997. The song was a chronology of Sandler and Farley's relationship, with videos of the over-the-top fat man's antics playing while Sandler sang.
Sandler reportedly turned down previous offers to return to the Saturday Night stage, but, in both his monologue and at the end of the show, he said he wanted his wife and kids ro see him on the show where he said he had the best time of his life. Whatever obstacles had to be overcome to make that happen, it was worth it. Let's hope we don't have to wait 24 more years for it to happen again.