A host of famous names lamented the ‘awakened’ status that has made comedy a ‘taboo subject’ as they gathered at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night to honor Adam Sandler with the Mark Twain Prize for Humor.
Sandler, 56, acknowledged how hard it is to make people laugh.
“The comedians are trying to make you laugh, and that’s the point,” he told DailyMail.com on the red carpet, adding: “Yes, he’s more hypersensitive than ever, but we’re going to be fine.”
And Drew Barrymore, who starred with Sandler in ‘The Wedding Singer’ and ’50 First Dates,’ said: ‘Comedy in general has become taboo and that in itself scares me. But I just want to appreciate the people who are brave enough to make us laugh.
‘Everything, you know, at one point can be something that creates a feeling of vitriol or disgust or disgust. I don’t even think gotcha has a chance to be gotcha. It’s like an instant too fast. People are turning against each other,” she added.
Adam Sandler, above with his wife Jackie, was honored with the Mark Twain Prize
Sandler, best known for his time on “Saturday Night Live” and a host of comedy films, was honored by a host of his celebrity friends on Sunday night, including Jennifer Aniston, Judd Apatow, Steve Buscemi, Conan O ‘Brien, Chris Rock and David Spade, Dana Carvey, Luis Guzmán, Tim Herlihy, Idina Menzel, Rob Schneider and Ben Stiller.
‘In these waking times we live in the only person who would not win the Mark Twain Prize was Mark Twain. He had some iffy material,” Spade said during the recording.
The show opened with Sandler’s roast, including a skit in which Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore ‘discovered’ that Sandler courted them to make movies with him to the same song.
Sandler’s wife, Jackie, was in on the prank. As Aniston and Barrymore argued about how they each got the song, she yelled, ‘Me too!’
The couple’s daughters, Sadie, 16, and Sunny, 14, also attended.
All of the artists shared stories of working with Sandler and poked fun at his dress sense.
Menzel joked that Sandler almost didn’t make it to the ceremony because he had a “dress code.”
Sandler, who was given “fashion icon” status for his uniform of sweatpants and a baggy T-shirt, donned a suit and tie for the occasion, but the jacket came to mid-thigh. and the pants were too long.
“I don’t love the suit, but everything else is exciting,” he said of the awards ceremony.
But, in his acceptance speech, he thanked his friends.
“The whole time I was listening to you, I was dealing with gratitude that the original people that the Kennedy Center asked to come couldn’t make it,” he said.
Comedians Chris Rock (left), Dana Carvey (center) and Pete Davidson (right) were among those honoring Sandler.
Actress Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore paid tribute to Sandler
Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi talk with Steve Buscemi, right, as they arrive to receive the Mark Twain Prize.
Politics came late in the recording.
Judd Apatow, who was Sandler’s roommate when the comedian was starting out, produced Sandler’s fake ID from the time, from Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware.
“This is your fake Joe Biden Delaware ID,” he said with a laugh. ‘According to the date of birth, Adam is now 60 years old.’
Dana Carvey, who burst onto the national scene with her impersonation of President George HW Bush, really got the political jokes rolling.
He pointed to Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi in the audience. She joked about her Paul Pelosi impersonation, which she said she did at an event with Napa Valley where Paul was in attendance.
‘Paul stood tall and we had an exchange. And later you kicked my ass,’ he said as Pelosis laughed.
Anyway, I’m in DC. I feel like I should do some politics,” the comedian continued.
He gave his impressions of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, including a reference to Trump’s social media post that he will be arrested on Tuesday. Carvey said in Trump’s voice: ‘Don’t read me my rights because I wrote the rights. I did the rights.
Prior to the show, Carvey acknowledged that making fun of people has gotten more serious and requires more care.
It’s definitely more serious. You know, I tried to make the Biden thing so dumb that no one would be offended. But I feel like we have to throw stones at the king. He is the most powerful man on earth. So we have to do some satire,” he said.
“It’s much more serious than Jimmy Carter, Reagan, George Bush, Clinton,” he added.
But it was Chris Rock who really brought the house down with political humor.
Rock warned that arresting Donald Trump would make him ‘more popular’ and criticized the crowd of Washington DC insiders watching him, asking them ‘are you stupid?’
He also mockingly defended the former president, saying it was “romantic” for him to pay off a porn star so Melania Trump wouldn’t find out he cheated on her.
And he took a jab at President Joe Biden, saying he came back from the dead to be president.
Comedian David Spade (above) was one of many to honor Adam Sandler
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attended the event at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Rock, during his remarks, focused his fire on Trump instead of Sandler.
“Are they really going to arrest Trump?” he asked the crowd, which included lawmakers including Nancy Pelosi and Biden administration officials.
‘Do you know that this will only make him more popular? It’s like arresting Tupac. He’s just going to sell more records. Are you stupid?’ Rock continued as the crowd roared with laughter.
He said that Trump ‘fucked up a porn star and paid someone off so his wife wouldn’t find out. That is romantic.
‘We have all been deceived. Don’t you wish the person who cheated on you would pay someone so you wouldn’t find out? she added.
Rock was referring to the fact Trump will face criminal charges over $130,000 payments his former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid to porn star Stormy Daniels toward the end of his 2016 campaign. Prosecutors say the payment violated campaign finance laws and was made to silence Daniels about an affair he had with the mogul.
Trump denied having an affair. And, this weekend, he tweeted that he was set to be arrested on Tuesday and urged his supporters to “protest, protest, protest.”
President Joe Biden did not attend the ceremony, but that did not stop Rock from attacking the commander in chief, mocking the age of 80. Biden is the oldest president ever elected.
“Trump was so bad as president, he was so bad that Joe Biden had to blow up a monument. Biden was dead for 16 years,’ he said, drawing more laughter from the packed auditorium.
And Rock greeted Paul Pelosi, who was sitting in the audience next to Nancy Pelosi.
‘Paul Pelosi just got it. He knows how I felt,’ he said.
Conan O’Brien walked the red carpet before the recording
Ben Stiller greets Adam Sandler before the show
Rob Schneider and Patricia Schneider at the Mark Twain Prize
Idina Menzel joked that Adam Sandler almost didn’t go to the Kennedy Center because of the dress code
Sandler has long had a place on the American comedy stage.
He first came to national attention as a cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live.’
He then went on to have a successful film career that spanned over 30 films, grossing over $3 billion worldwide, including films like ‘Happy Gilmore’ and ‘The Wedding Singer.’
Named after one of the world’s greatest humorists, the Mark Twain Prize recognizes individuals who have made an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.
Other comedians who received the lifetime achievement award include Richard Pryor, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and Dave Chapelle.
Sandler is the seventh ‘SNL’ cast member to receive the award, joining Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Will Farrell, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louise-Dreyfus. The show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, won in 2004.
The ceremony, filmed at the Kennedy Center on Sunday night, will be broadcast nationally on CNN on March 26.