One of several children of an electrical engineer and a housewife, comedian Adam Sandler was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Hampshire. An incorrigible class clown, Sandler apparently never entertained any career goal other than making people laugh. Starting out as a stand-up comedian in Boston, Sandler perfected his craft while studying for a Fine Arts degree at New York University. In his freshman year, Sandler had a recurring role (as Theo's pal Smitty) in Bill Cosby's popular sitcom 'The Cosby Show'. Simultaneously juggling his schoolwork with his stand-up career, Sandler went to work the comedy clubs of L.A. and it was while performing at the famous Improv that 'Saturday Night Live' alumni Dennis Miller caught his show and recommended Sandler to SNL producer Lorne Michaels. In 1990, Sandler was hired as a writer on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live' and one year later he'd become an on-camera regular, creating such calculatedly moronic characters as Opera Man and Canteen Boy. After making his film debut in Bobcat Goldthwait's 'Shakes the Clown' (1991) and apprenticing with supporting parts in such film comedies as 'Coneheads', 'Airheads' and 'Mixed Nuts' (all filmed between 1993 and 1994), Sandler was given his first starring movie, 1994's 'Billy Madison', in which he played a twentyish slacker forced to go back to grade school in order to claim an inheritance. In 1998, Sandler had his biggest screen success playing the title role of 'The Wedding Singer'. In 1993, Sandler received a Grammy nomination for his debut comedy album 'They're All Gonna Laugh at You', his goofy and often vulgar ode to adolescent boyhood.
by Hal Erickson at video.barnesandnoble.com