Adam Sandler’s performance in Uncut Gems has been praised pretty much unanimously, but, even so, his ego has been kept in check not just by the fact that he didn’t receive a single Oscar nomination, but because, at the end of the day, he’s still Adam Sandler—a guy whose career includes so many turns playing complete dipshits that it’s hard to take him seriously even when presenting him with awards for a dramatic role.
This seems especially true for Conan O’Brien, a fellow comedian who used to work with Sandler, has had him on his show many, many times over the years, and refused, at last night’s AARP Movie Awards, to let an opportunity to make fun of Sandler relentlessly pass him by when it presented itself.
O’Brien reads out Sandler’s name for the Best Actor award and the latter instantly gets to his feet, walking up to the stage before realizing that O’Brien is supposed to finish reading a preamble about Uncut Gems first. “You don’t come up yet,” O’Brien says, staring daggers at a confused Sandler. “What’s wrong with you?”
Not willing to miss a chance to make fun of Sandler as he sheepishly returns to his seat, audience laughing, O’Brien launches into a spontaneous roast. “How long have you been in show business?” he asks. “That was sad.” He mimes Sandler rushing to the stage after hearing his name, compares him to a chimp running to grab a banana, and then returns to the script to describe Uncut Gems’ Howard Ratner (a desperate gambler who O’Brien calls a role that allows everyone to see “the real Adam Sandler”).
It just goes to show that the kind of material you make a name off of defines your entire career, no matter how many Punch-Drunk Loves or Uncut Gems you go on to make in the future. And that if you let Conan O’Brien present awards, he’s going to get off-script when he spots an opportunity to make fun of a friend.
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