We don’t always agree on the happenings in the entertainment community, and we like to make our beefs public. Today, in honor of the upcoming release of That’s My Boy, we’re debating who was funnier on SNL: Adam Sandler or Andy Samberg?
Andy Samberg is a funny guy, but most importantly, HE’S NOT ADAM SANDLER, which should allow him to win any Reel Rumble against Adam Sandler. His best years lay ahead of him, which is more than can be said for Sandler, and his scant past work wins by default when compared to Sandler’s later years.
It remains to be seen if Andy Samberg will become a bona fide star, but I’ll take his future promise over Adam Sandler’s current slate of films, which includes Grown Ups 2 and a comedy called Valet Guys with Kevin James. Included in Andy Samberg’s upcoming filmography are two films co-starring Sandler (the aforementioned Grown Ups 2 as well as the animated film Hotel Transylvania, as well as The To Do List (formerly The Hand Job). It’s close, but I’ll take Samberg, thankyouverymuch.
The next comparative category, mouth size, isn’t very close. It’s Samberg in a walk.
Both actors also have more than a passing interest in comedic music, with Sandler having charmed audiences in his SNL days with ditties like “Red Hooded Sweatshirt,” “Lunchlady Land,” and the entire catalog of Opera Man.
Meanwhile, Samberg is 1/3 of the hilarious and talented Lonely Island and responsible for the SNL Digital Shorts “Dick in a Box” and “I’m on a Boat.” Not even close there, Sandler.
Who was funnier on SNL, Adam Sandler or Andy Samberg? Sandler, hands down.
To insinuate that Andy Samberg’s time on Saturday Night Live was funnier or better spent than Adam Sandler’s is laughable in its own right. Samberg wouldn’t have his brand of comedy if not for Sandler. He’s in the house of manboy that Sandler built. Though many comedy greats worked under the lights of Studio 8H before Adam Sandler joined the cast in 1991, Sandler was the first to introduce the buffoon vibe to the show, and thus reinvent the institution. By simply doing the silliest thing possible, he was able to shine amongst a sea of future superstars. Sandler shared his time with Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade and still stood out. Samberg rose to prominence amongst a much weaker cast and writing staff. You can’t give a culinary trophy to a chef who cooks for the starved.
I will also mention that Andy Samberg had every opportunity to win this superlative but squandered them. This is done by virtue of the Digital Shorts format itself. Designed for Internet praise, these pre-taped and production-heavy videos strayed from the “live” confines SNL had worked within for thirty years. Of course, the standouts like “Dick In A Box,” “I’m On A Boat,” and “Jack Sparrow” were well-received. They grabbed headlines by making use of cheap celebrity stunt-casting and sly winks to the camera. Regardless of Samberg’s weak lyrics and lame rap skills, the Internet ate his awkward performances up. Whereas Sandler made his way before a live audience in a time before the “Like” button existed without smug grins to convey a punchline just hit.
Though this is not a defense of all his films, it is unfair to judge the man’s entire career based on however Drew Barrymore ruined him. That would be like refusing to rock out to “Say It Ain’t So” just because Weezer has finally slipped off the cliff of Sucking Really Bad. Also, by that precedent, a fair amount of blame can be cast in Samberg’s direction because when his work is bad, it’s really bad. Like abysmal bad. “Throw It On the Ground” and that Gotye short this past season owe me minutes of my life back. Minutes that I will redeem by not watching Jesse and Celeste Forever.
In summation, Adam Sandler: hard-working, unique, a star for the ages. Andy Samberg: similar to every Internet comedy group, coasted on the work of his not-so-camera-ready partners, wack rap skills, and need of a haircut.