Adam Sandler's 10 Most Memorable 'SNL' Sketches

12:15 PM 5/3/2019

by Lexy Perez

The comedian and 'SNL' vet will return to host May 4.

After last appearing as a cast member in 1995, years have passed since Adam Sandler has graced the Saturday Night Live stage. Preparing to make his return and host the sketch series for the first time this week — Shawn Mendes will serve as the musical guest — Sandler has already made a walk down memory lane to recall his memorable sketches from his time on the late-night series in the official promo ahead of his hosting gig. 

Though the comedian has cultivated fame from films such as Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer, Sandler's slew of notorious sketches are still recognized as some of Sandler's most recognized work and the best in SNL history. Whether hosting his own show about his ex-girlfriend or singing an original song about Hanukkah, Sandler has starred in sketches that continue to be favorited by SNL cast members to this day. 

As fans anticipate the sketches Sandler will perform or possibly revive for his hosting gig, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at 10 of the comedian’s most memorable SNL sketches. 

  • "The Hanukkah Song"

    Season 20 (1994)

    To once again commemorate a holiday, Sandler penned an original song dedicated to Hanukkah. "When I was a kid, this time a year always made me feel a little left out because, in school, there were so many Christmas songs and all us Jewish kids had was 'Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,' " he said, before singing his original song for "Jewish kids to sing." "Put on your yarmulke; Here comes Hanukkah;" Sandler sang on his guitar, with other fun lyrics including, "When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree; Here's a list of people who are Jewish, just like you and me... Paul Newman's half Jewish; Goldie Hawn's half too; Put them together; What a fine-lookin' Jew!" In later seasons, Sandler would then perform updated versions of his popular song, with Rob Schneider and a choir even joining him for one performance

  • "The Denise Show"

    Season 19 (1993)

    In the 1993 sketch, Sandler's heartbroken character Brian hosted a show to mourn the loss of his relationship with Denise (Shannen Doherty). Prior to taking calls, Sandler attempts to hide his pain when describing his breakup: "She ripped open my chest and pulled out my heart, but it's fine." Callers ask Sandler's Brian how he's doing, and despite saying he's "fine," the comedian asks if anyone knows the whereabouts of Denise. "Have you seen her? Has she said anything about me?" Later in the sketch, Sandler's Brian makes a phone call to Denise only to hang up on her. "That was great," he said. Doherty's Denise also shows up to express her annoyance with her ex-boyfriend. 

  • "Opera Man"

    Season 18-19 (1992)

    Sandler's portrayal of Opera Man became a fan favorite character on the variety sketch series. Always dressed in a tuxedo, cape and donning a wig, Sandler delivered special performances in which he sang about various topics in a faux operatic voice. Sketches included singing about a lottery ticket (comical lyrics include: "Dio in heaveno, per favor, un more matcho, be so greato, Opera man promise no more masterbato."), singing about then Vice President Al Gore in the "Weekend Update" and even joining forces with Jon Lovitz, who played Opera Man's brother, for a duet. 

  • "Lunch Lady Land"

    Season 19 (1994)

    In signature Sandler fashion, the comedian sang a tune about an unlikely hero for students during a now-famous 1994 sketch. Sandler said of the song: "This is a song about the high school experience through the eyes through the person more than anyone else puts young people on the right path. I’m not talking about the teachers… coaches... guidance counselors. I’m talking about the person we all call the lunch lady." During Sandler's quirky tune about a lunch lady, Chris Farley donned a hairnet, gloves and appropriate attire while dancing around the stage as Sandler sang on the guitar. 

  • "Zagat's"

    Season 20 (1995)

    During SNL's 20th season, a new show starring hosts Hank and Beverly Gelfand (Sandler, Chris Farley) called  "Zagat's," was introduced. The two characters explain that they are celebrating their 35th anniversary and Beverly (Farley) wants to find a restaurant to dine in, but Hank can't help but express his misery for being married. "My father said 'get married.' He should rot in his grave," Sandler's Hank says at one point, with other negative comments including "Day and night she talks, each word more useless than the next" and "Give me cancer now God!" At one point, Hank's sister-in-law (David Duchovny) makes a visit to gift the couple a restaurant guide. "I'm in the middle of a moron sandwich," Sandler's Hank yells, as Beverly and her sister continue to name possible restaurants to visit. Done being involved with the conversation, Sandler's Hank takes a bottle of sleeping pills which causes him to collapse on the floor. Instead of helping him, Beverly and her sister continue reading the restaurant guide. 

  • "Red Hooded Sweatshirt"

    Season 18 (1993)

    With "violence and hatred in the world," Sandler penned another holiday tune about Valentine's Day to lighten the mood. But instead of singing about falling in love, the comedian directed his attention to "the nicest, purest thing in the world" — his red hooded sweatshirt gifted from his mom. Throughout the song, Sandler sang about the memories he's created with his treasured sweatshirt and qualities he loves about it. Fun lyrics included: "I like to rest my hands in your kangaroo pouch, it makes them feel comfy like a big soft couch" and "I don't care if the weather's no good; I say 'see you later rain' as I pull up my hood." Per tradition, Kevin Nealon joined along to sing the catchy tune. 

  • "Pepper Boy"

    Season 20 (1994)

    In a sketch aired during SNL's 20th season, the comedian took on the role of an incompetent apprentice named Carlo who struggled to learn the art of grinding pepper from his superior Marco (Dana Carvey) while working in an Italian restaurant. Though Carvey's Marco instructed Carlo that he must always approach each table and ask guests questions such as, "Fresh pepper?" and "Say when," Marco always lets his nerves get the best of him, even putting pepper in a guest's chocolate mousse. At one point Carvey''s Marco waiter slaps him across the face: "Not everybody want the pepper! There are rules! This is the art of the pepper boy. Don't let it die with me." After finally achieving the technique, Carlo and Marco are surprised when their boss tells them that every table will now have electronic pepper grinders, so they're fired. The sketch series also featured Janeane Garofalo, Tim Meadows, Chris Elliott, Chris Farley, Michael McKean as dinner guests. 

  • "Bobby Watches Grandma"

    Season 18 (1992)

    During SNL's 18th season, Sandler took on the comical role of a difficult grandma. When Joey (Michel Keaton) wants to spend some time alone with a date (Julia Sweeney) he brought home, Keaton's Joey asks his brother Bobby (Chris Farley) to look after their Grandma (Sandler), only Bobby was unaware of what he would have to actually endure. "Where's Joey? I need him. I need Joey. I want Joey," Sandler's Grandma immediately asks, as he then screams for Joey to return. Despite Joey instructing Bobby to keep Grandma quiet as he spends time with his guest, Sandler's Grandma consistently complains about Bobby and yells. Sandler's Grandma then makes comical demands for Bobby, asking him to fluff her pillows and retrieving the platter on the top shelf.  At one point, Grandma receives a visit from a solicitor (Rob Schneider) and is informed that she has been selected to be included in a "who's who volume of retirees." After she is told that she can preorder the copy for $500, Grandma begins giving away the money to which Bobby yells for her to stop. Later on, Joey continues to beat up Joey for being mean to their Grandma. 

  • "Halloween Costume Ideas"

    Season 17 (1991)

    Hoping to alleviate the stress of finding the perfect Halloween costume without spending a lot of money, Sandler advised the audience on how to create a costume while on a budget during a "Weekend Update" segment. "If you want an original, scary Halloween costume use your imagination. What's wrong with just using your face?" Sandler said, as he then exemplified various costume ideas including "Squishy Man" (the costume consisted of squeezing his cheeks together with his hands) and "G Force Man" (He then pressed his cheeks outward). Sandler also performed the "Crazy No Arms Man" costume where he hid his arm in his shirt and acted like a grumpy man ("I've got one arm and I'm crazy," he yelled.), "Crazy Hand Coming Out of the Neck Guy," "Crazy No Arm Woman," among others. Nealon also joined in on the fun, quipping that he could be "Cup Man," where he could simply place a cup atop his head. Sandler would go on to provide more costume ideas in later segments dubbed "Adam Sandler on More Halloween Costumes" and "Adam Sandler on Even More Halloween Costumes." 

  • "Thanksgiving Song"

    Season 18 (1992)

    To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, Sandler composed and penned an original tune to perform during the "Weekend Update" segment. With a guitar in hand, the comedian sang along to a quirky song that he hopes would entertain and move the audience. Lyrics included: "Love to eat turkey cause it's good, love to eat turkey like a good boy should" and "A turkey for you, a turkey for me, let's eat turkey in a big brown shoe." Later on, Kevin Nealon joined Sandler to sing a duet of the comical holiday song. In the following season, Sandler revisited the song, only to perform it while portraying Bruce Springsteen.