Every few years or so, Saturday Night Live goes through a major sea change as notable cast members leave or are let go from the show. After many long-time cast members left in 2022 between Seasons 47 and 48, it reminded viewers of a similar transition after Season 20 when popular stars like Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Adam Sandler exited the late-night sketch series. A few years ago, Sandler claimed he and Farley’s contracts weren’t renewed between Seasons 20 and 21. The Hustle star has seemingly changed his tune on his SNL termination as he chose to clarify whether he and his late castmate were actually fired.
When Sandler and Farley were let go from the sketch series, they were two of the show’s most popular cast members. They appeared in notable sketches like “Zagat’s with Hank and Beverly Gelfand” and “Gap Girls at the Foodcourt.” But their popularity couldn’t save them from getting the axe. While Sandler claimed he and the Black Sheep star were fired, the comedian spilled to THR how the two stars were the victims of a power shift at NBC.
While the two comedy stars weren’t necessarily fired in the traditional sense, Sandler and Farley were essentially pushed out by the NBC higher-ups. So, their departures were more about the new NBC boss’s comedy taste than their performance on the long-running series. Everyone’s entitled to their comedy tastes, and the new executives weren’t huge fans of the duo’s madcap-style comedy. However, as many viewers have seen in recent shakeups, there are usually some major changes with old faces or projects being replaced by new ones. So, this practice is nothing new.
Although, Sandler and Farley didn’t need to worry following their SNL exits as both comedians were thriving in the world of film.
Before even leaving the sketch series, Farley had starred in cult classics like Airheads (with Sandler) and the Wayne’s World films. He found even more success with 1990s classics, including Tommy Boy and Black Sheepbefore his premature death in 1998 from a drug overdose.
At the same time, Sandler kicked off his successful run of hit films with Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. Since then, the movie star balanced his comedic timing with his dramatic chops, appearing in films like The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Punch-Drunk Loveand Reign Over Me. In recent years, he’s gained critical favor (and Oscar buzz) from acclaimed dramas Uncut Gems and Hustle.
Adam Sandler isn’t going too far from his comedy roots for his next project as he and Jennifer Aniston reunite for Murder Mystery 2, which will premiere on Netflix in March. He also has the sci-fi film Spaceman and a film adaptation of the young adult novel You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah in the works. Both films will be available for those with a Netflix subscription once they premiere.