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Adam Sandler Recalls the Moment that Chris Farley and Him Were Fired from SNL

Gettyimages | NBC
By Zachary Holt

It's truly hard to fathom that two of the best comedic actors of all time were once fired from the program that put their names on the map, Saturday Night Live. But it did happen, whether that was for the good or bad. The Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Waterboy star, Adam Sandler, recently had a sit-down interview on the Howard Stern Show recounting the moments leading up to his firing from SNL and how both Chris Farley and himself reacted to it, ultimately being forced to move on from the family that they had grown so close to over the years.

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The Reason for Their Dismissals

Sandler, now at the ripe age of 53, was let go from Saturday Night Live in 1995, and still to this day, is unsure of what the reasoning was for firing him. He has speculated that both Farley and himself had gone on their respective runs and it was ready for a new cast to step into their shoes. This narrative doesn't hold much water, though, as there have been other cast members who have had longer tenures. What is known is that NBC was considering firing producer Lorne Michaels at the end of 1995 due to low ratings on SNL. The result was enough for Michaels to usher in the next wave of successful SNL cast members such as Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan.

Lorne Michaels or the NBC Network?

Alan Berliner | BEI

In the Howard Stern interview, Sandler states that he believes it was out of Michaels' hands and ultimately fell on the network. Sandler shared, "At the time, I was hurt because I didn't know what else I was going to do. I know it wasn't Lorne [Michaels'] decision. The NBC head dude, I know he didn't like our gang." Whatever the reason was for letting Sandler and Farley go, it seemed to work out for their own benefit. Within the same year, Sandler came out with Billy Madison, while Farley starred in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, both ironically produced by Lorne Michaels.

What Could Have Been

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There's no doubt that both careers ended up working out for them, as the duo pumped out classic after classic. Sandler went on to star in wildly popular movies such as Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, and 50 First Dates, while Farley, also starred in Beverly Hills Ninja, before his untimely death. What could have been though? Sandler believes that if he never would have been fired, he could potentially still be a cast member on SNL. Sandler shared, "Maybe I would have never left because I'm not good at saying goodbye. They had to get rid of me some time."

Team Work Makes the Dreams Work

Saturday Night Live

Hindsight is 20/20. At the time of their termination, both Sandler and Farley were scared, mad, and overall saddened about being let go. Upon learning that they both would not be returning for the next season, they found common ground between the two of them and decided to set the world on fire with the 'them versus us' mentality. It seemed to have worked. It also seems that SNL and Sandler have buried the hatchet, as he came back and recently hosted SNL for the first time in almost 25 years. Talk about being on the winning end.

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