Before his new movie, "Grown Ups 2," hits theaters this week, check out 15 things you (probably) didn't know about Sandler.
Gallery | 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Adam Sandler
- He's a Huge Wrestling Fan
Fans of Sandler's movies may have picked up on this tidbit -- several of his movies reference the sport, or feature cameos from professional wrestlers. For example, "Captain Insano" was Bobby Boucher's favorite can-of-whoop-ass-opening wrestler in 1998's "The Waterboy," and he was played by real-life WWE star Big Show. You'll find references in a bunch of his other movies, too, including, "Billy Madison," "Big Daddy," "Little Nicky," and "The Longest Yard."
- He Was a Huxtable... Sort Of
Sandler's first TV role was Theo's friend Smitty on "The Cosby Show." The then 18-year-old was a recurring character on the show, appearing in four episodes.
- He's a Jack of All Trades
Sandler isn't just the star of his movies, he's usually the brains (or at least one of the brains) behind them. He did double duty as the star and writer of movies like "Billy Madison," Big Daddy," "The Waterboy," "Grown Ups," and "Eight Crazy Nights."
- Basketball Was a Big Part of His Childhood...
...So much so, he included the game as a crucial plot point in his 2010 movie "Grown Ups." In the comedy, Sandler's character Lenny is reunited with his childhood friends from a church league basketball team when their beloved coach dies. The funny man told Collider he "grew up playing" in a league very similar to the one in the film.
- The 'People' Really Like Him
Throughout his career, Sandler has taken home eight People's Choice awards. As you might have figured, most of his wins have come in the "Favorite Male Comedic Performance" category.
- The 'Hanukkah Song' Got Its Start on 'SNL'
Aside from acting and writing, Sandler also dabbles in music, like his holiday season radio mainstay "The Hanukkah Song." That famously funny tune was first dreamed up by the comedian when he was still a cast member on "Saturday Night Live," and he debuted the song on the show in 1995.
- He Was Almost Willy Wonka
Before the master of eccentricity, Johnny Depp, snagged the part of crazy chocolatier Willy Wonka in 2005's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Sandler was up for the role.
- He Was Almost In 'Inglorious Basterds'
Quentin Tarantino and Sandler are old friends (Tarantino even made a cameo in "Little Nicky"), so when the "Inglorious Basterds" writer/director was casting the role of Sgt. Donny Donowitz, he was set on the comedian playing the part. Unfortunately, Sandler was shooting "Funny People" with another friend, Judd Apatow, and the role went to actor-director Eli Roth. Regarding missing out on the film, he has said: “I read the script, it's fantastic. But I'm shooting at the very same time. I won't be able to do it…it's definitely disappointing. I'd love to do it, but I just can't."
- His Brother Pushed Him to Get Into Comedy
At 17, Sandler spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club after his brother urged him to try it out. He found he had a knack for it, which made him further pursue the craft while attending NYU (where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1991) by performing at other universities and in clubs.
- He's a Grammy Nominee
No, it wasn't for "The Hanukkah Song" -- it was for his first comedy album. "They're All Gonna Laugh at You" earned him a Grammy nod, went platinum, and spent more than 100 weeks on the Billboard charts.
- He Gives New Meaning to 'Man's Best Friend'
His beloved dog Meatball was the best man (dog?) at Sandler's 2004 wedding to wife Jackie. The actor didn't break Jewish tradition though, as both he and Meatball wore yarmulkes.
- He Dated Alicia Silverstone
Sandler and Silverstone briefly dated in 1996.
- The Female Characters in (Most of) His Movies Have One Thing in Common
Veronica Vaughn, Vickie Vallencourt, Vanessa, Valerie Veran, Virginia Venit. Those are some of the "V" names given to the female characters in the movies Sandler has written. No one's quite sure why this little Sandler easter egg appears. After a little digging, the best connection we came up with is his younger sister, Valerie.
- He and Charlie Sheen Are Old Friends...
...as evident by this video in which Sheen crashes a "That's My Boy" interview at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards.
- He Had a Famous Roommate
During his run on "SNL," Sandler shacked up with writer/producer/director Judd Apatow.