Adam Sandler hasn’t always been the recipient of glowing reviews for his work, but thanks to his family and friends, those reviews have never made him feel bad. In fact, he’s simply never believed them, because those same family and friends have turned him into “a delusional psychotic man.”
At least, that’s how Sandler himself explained it on Sunday night, as he accepted his Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. After several of those loved ones took the stage at the Kennedy Center to celebrate and honor him — including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, and more — Sandler himself took the stage.
According to the actor and comedian, he’s always had infallible confidence, which began with the support of his family. Sandler recalled that his older brother was the one who said he should be an actor, and assured him that he was “as funny as Rodney Dangerfield and Eddie Murphy.” And, as the years went on, Sandler said, the people he surrounded himself with kept his confidence up.
“People always would ask me, ‘Those bad reviews you get, how does that make you feel? Make you feel like f—in’ s—?’ And I’d say, no, it really doesn’t,” Sandler said with a laugh. “I think the reason I get to say that didn’t hurt me is ’cause so many of you guys in this room made me feel great about what we’ve done together.”
He continued: “And all my fellow comedians, actors, writers, collaborators, crew members, people on the streets, my family, my kids, my forever girl Jackie, all make me feel like the critics didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. So thank you for all that. Thank you. Thank you for creating a delusional psychotic man.”
As always, Sandler finished his speech with a punchline, joking that he won the 2023 Mark Twain award for athleticism, rather than comedy.
You can watch Sandler’s full acceptance speech in the video above.