Adam Sandler got real in May 4th’s Saturday Night Live episode. His return to SNL after 24 years was full of flashbacks, memories, and reunions as Sandler rehashed the past. Not only did he throwback to his popular characters, he also explained his long absence as well as sang a tribute to his dear friend Chris Farley, who passed away in 1997 from a drug overdose. From his heartbreaking shoutout to Farley to his Opera Man impression, Sandler busted out the feels.
Sandler opened with a bold song regarding why he left SNL, claiming simply, “I was fired, not rehired.” Chris Rock, another former SNL member, joined along in a surprise cameo, singing: “I was fired. I was fired by NBC. Then I went on In Living Color. Three weeks later they took it off TV.” However, Sandler acknowledged that this firing led to his fame, adding at the end of his song: “Then I made over 4 billion dollars at the box office, so I guess you could say I won.” This bold face-slap at SNL and NBC shows that even SNL can take a good roasting.
More cameos came in Sandler’s “Family Reunion” skit, which mocked all of Sandler’s various characters that he has formulated, and recycled, over the years. Such surprise guests included former SNL cast members Jimmy Fallon and Kristen Wiig. Shawn Mendes, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, Pete Davidson, Melissa Villaseñor, Aidy Bryant, Kenan Thompson, Alex Moffat, Beck Bennett, and Leslie all played other members of his family, uniting both old and new in a true SNL family reunion.
Adam Sandler also broke it down in a real talk for tourists to Italy as a character named Joe Romano. In his skit, “Romano Tours,” Sandler told tourists that “the you in Italy will be the same sad you from before.”
Sandler’s nostalgic hosting was one for the books. In fact, according to Deadline, the show had an average metered market rating of 4.8 for Live+Same Day households and a local people meter rating of 1.8 adults 18-49. The 4.8 rating tied with the season’s high in December, which Matt Damon hosted along with musical guests Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus, as well as with the season premiere back in September, which was hosted by Adam Driver with musical guest Kanye West. Additionally, the 1.8 local people meter rating was the best of the season since March 2nd’s 1.9 rating, when John Mulaney hosted along with musical guest Thomas Rhett. Saturday Night Live also ranked #2 on the Big 4 networks for the May 4th episode, only outdone by the Warriors-Rockets NBA Playoffs aired on NBC. Concerning primetime entertainment programs for the entire week, SNL was only behind the Billboard Music Awards (NBC, 2.4) and Big Bang Theory (CBS, 2.1), tying with Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 1.8).