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Broke and Afraid: Adam Sandler's Battle Before Landing on 'SNL'

Gettyimages | Leon Bennett
By Zachary Holt

It's difficult to imagine that at one point Adam Sandler might never have been the actor he is today had it not been for getting over his stage fright and being a broke college student. The Uncut Gems star sat down for a 60 Minutes interview with Sharyn Alfonsi to discuss his career up to now and his new movie that's coming out. Sandler didn't hold back, either, providing interesting context into how his career initially got going in New York City.

Forgetting Lines

Giphy | Saturday Night Live

From the beginning, Sandler had a fear of getting up on stage and performing in front of crowds. It's very ironic, given his stature and clout, that this was ever a problem for him. In the 60 Minutes interview, he shared how debilitating it was. "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," Sandler shared. Fortunately for him, though, he was able to rely on another talent which would help him get through the awkwardness: playing the guitar. To Sandler, putting comedy to music was a 'security blanket'.

Being a Broke College Student


On top of having to overcome his stage fright in comedy clubs, he was also battling being a broke college student while he attended NYU. However, Sandler was appreciative that being a student at NYU provided close proximity to countless comedy clubs in the city where he could hone in his craft and practice. That was the good part. The bad part was that he was paid hardly anything for his performances. Sandler shared, "Oh, money?” he stated in the interview. “I think it was 10 bucks a night, 10 bucks. That was good. Didn’t care.” To him, the experience was more valuable than the pay.

Started at the Bottom, Now We Here

Giphy | Saturday Night Live

Like many of us, getting to our ultimate goals in life takes a lot of work. Sandler's journey has been no different. Since his time on Saturday Night Live, he went on to produce and star in some of the best comedies of all time including Billy Madison, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, and Big Daddy, just to name a few. His illustrious career shows no indications that he's slowing down, either. Set to be released on December 13th, Uncut Gems is Sandler's latest film that is garnering quite the attention.

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems, Sandler's latest starring role, is a drama/comedy film which according to IMDb is the story of "A charismatic jeweler makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win." It currently is boasting a rating of 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, providing some insight that this might be one of Sandler's best movies of all time. The film is set to be released into moview theatres on December 13th.

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