Adam Sandler gets real with Howard Stern: ‘When you used to slam me, it would break my heart’

12.15.15 2 years ago

Now that Howard Stern has re-signed with Sirius XM, fans blissfully have five more years of insightful, raucous longform celebrity interviews to look forward to. First up: Adam Sandler, who made his first-ever “Stern” appearance this morning to promote his new (critically-lambasted) Netflix original movie “The Ridiculous 6.”

In a year full of surprising A-list guests like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jada Pinkett Smith and Drew Barrymore — none of whom fans could have envisioned setting foot in Studio 69 just a couple of years ago — Sandler is just the latest unlikely interviewee to take a seat on the purple couch. Indeed, the “SNL” star-turned-box-office-king was repeatedly slammed by the King of All Media earlier in his career — and in one of the sit-down's most striking moments, Sandler addressed the elephant in the room when he told Howard that, yes, the digs hurt.

“When you used to slam me it would break my heart because I loved you growing up,” Sandler admitted (more on that below).

So what does he think of the critical drubbing he receives on every movie he makes? And which “Grownups” cast member didn't receive a car after filming? Below you can find 7 major highlights from the marathon chat.

1. He was really, really hurt when Howard criticized him.

Sandler: “When I was at NYU freshman year, I loved you. That's why it was weird, when you used to slam me it would break my heart because I loved you growing up…”


Howard: “I always felt bad about all the years that we didn't speak, I really did. Because I was a total fucking asshole. I was.”

Sandler: “I would laugh when you would say it about other people. But I just didn't get it. I was like, wow, I thought you were literally gonna be my biggest supporter.”

Howard: “I was no one's supporter. My whole thing was, I'm such an angry motherfucker that I couldn't be happy for anybody. It was just a world of fucking anger.”

Sandler: “But pretty cool that you were honest about it. I've had moments like that, but I keep it to myself.”

Howard: “Well I remember I saw you on a plane, and you were behind me. And I was like oh, this is so stupid.”

Sandler: “Well that was after you were nasty to me, and I remember the next day you talked about me being an asshole again because I didn't say hello. But the reason I didn't say hello is you were saying shit about me, and what was I gonna do…”

Howard: “I was thinking you guys were gonna beat me up or something. I was scared.”

2. He's as dismissive of the critics as they are of him.

Sandler: “The bad reviews that I get on everything I do, that part pisses me off because I ask my fucking friends to be in it, and to ask them to be in this stuff and I'm promising them, 'I think it's good,' and then I do screenings for an audience and it all works and I'll call them up after and say 'hey, that one thing you said really did great,' and then that Friday, every Friday literally every one of my movies is destroyed. Everything, the reviews, they destroy them so much that I'm just like, 'I can't wait for my friends to see the movie and not read that shit and be affected by it.'”

Howard: Do you read the reviews?

Sandler: “No, it just happens on occasion, like I'll get a call like, 'hey, fuck the New York Times!' And I'm like, 'I didn't read it yet.'”


Howard: “But you still want the good review.”

Sandler: “I swear to god, I don't want them. I don't take them. When they say I'm good in something and someone calls me up and says, 'Wow, the Village Voice said blah blah blah,' I'm just like, 'I don't give a fuck.'”

3. When Sandler was a guest star on “The Cosby Show,” his friend Chris Rock performed an impromptu warmup for the studio audience — but things quickly went sour.

“He gets a couple of giant laughs, and I'm like ooh boy, the Cos is gonna see Rock killing,” Sandler described. “He was like 19 or something, 20 years old. …He just says something about Bill Cosby, and the place applauds. And he says something like, 'the most racist character of all time is Mushmouth [from 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids'] and starts doing Mushmouth. […] I don't remember what went on after that, but I remember a kinda icy feeling and people being mad that I brought him.”

4. Quentin Tarantino wrote the part of the “Jew Bear” in “Inglourious Basterds” for him. 

“I wanted to do it, it was just Judd was shooting 'Funny People' at the same time,” Sandler explained, adding later: “You know what broke my heart more, is Tarantino, I know him, and for years he was telling me he wrote it for me. So I was always excited to shoot it with him, and then when that happened I called him up and I said, 'where you shooting?' And he's like, 'Germany.' And at the same time I said 'I don't think I can do it.'”

5. Though known for his laid-back demeanor, he has a quick temper.

Sandler: “I have these quick snappy moments where I'm bananas. I get upset quick. I have a short fuse. But I let it go pretty quick. …When I've made albums, when I used to do my shit, I would snap the whole time. I always felt like I'm supposed to get home and do something else. So when I was in the studio and I was fucking up, I would get so mad I'd go bananas.”

Howard: “Who would you get bananas with? The recording guy?”

Sandler: “Yeah, yeah. Anybody. I would go full-tilt.”

6. He bought every major cast member in “Grownups” a car — with the exception of one. 

Howard: “On 'Grownups,' you bought everyone in the movie a car.”

Sandler: “Except [Colin] Quinn.”

Howard: “Except Quinn. Why not Quinn? Why did you single him out not to get the car?”

Sandler: “He didn't know where to park the thing in New York City.”

7. He and his writing partner Tim Herlihy entered a “Howard Stern” song parody contest as young comedians and were brutally rebuffed.

“I would always say, man, if he sees my stuff, maybe he'll help — I always used to think you were gonna help me out. So I sent you a — you had a contest when I was a freshman, so that's 1984, you had a contest about funniest songs…and I made a cassette, me and my friend, we stayed up a late night and made an entire cassette of tunes for you and sent it in…that was Tim Herlihy, the guy I write all my movies with. We said, this is how it's gonna happen, that you're gonna like it and play it. And we listened, it was like two days in a row…you played a bunch of other songs and it never happened.”

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