May 24, 2019

The Triumphant Return of Adam Sandler

“It’s not unusual when a former Saturday Night Live staffer returns to the show to host. In the last few seasons alone, there have been episodes hosted by former cast cornerstones (Will Ferrell, Bill Hader), distinguished former “Weekend Update” anchors (Tina Fey, Seth Meyers), and even past writers (John Mulaney, Larry David). But when Adam Sandler hosted the show for the first time this past weekend, it felt like a genuine event.

Sandler, who was a writer and then cast member for the first half of the 1990s before going on to huge success in film comedies, was, before this weekend, arguably the highest-profile SNL guy who had never come back to host. Cast members as notoriously prickly as Chevy Chase and Bill Murray have done it multiple times, and even the famously ambivalent Eddie Murphy has technically hosted, albeit when he was still a cast member. Sandler has done a couple cameos, but even these are scarce; the last one was almost 17 years ago, to promote his long-forgotten animated movie Eight Crazy Nights.

When occasionally asked about returning to SNL, Sandler has shrugged it off, claiming that he did what he could on the show and doubting aloud whether he could keep up with newer, younger cast members. This self-analysis is compatible with the critical view of Sandler’s later-period work: lazy comedies that don’t require much of him beyond an approximation of his old rabble-rousing persona, updated in movies like Grown Ups or Jack and Jill to reflect his status as a slightly irascible suburban rich guy with cute kids and a lot of hangers-on.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."

"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."

"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."

"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."

"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."

"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."

"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."

"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."

"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."

"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."