NEW YORK – Adam Sandler is the guy you want at every awards show.
As Monday’s Gotham Awards lurched toward its third hour, the comedian gave the star-studded crowd a much-needed jolt as he accepted a career tribute trophy in typically uproarious fashion.
“I told my daughters Sadie and Sunny, who are 16 and 14, that I didn’t write a speech, and they said phrases like, ‘Rude’ and ‘You’re mean,’” Sandler joked as he took at the stage at Cipriani Wall Street. “They were like, ‘Can we write your speech so you’ve got something to say?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
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Sandler, 56, then put on a gravelly Southern accent as he claimed to read a letter from his daughters to the Gothams, thanking voters for “giving our daddy, Mr. Adam Sandler, this prestigious lifetime, all-time, prime-time achievement tribute award.”
“It means a lot to him, seeing as most of his awards are shaped like popcorn buckets or fake mini-Oscars that say ‘Father of the Year,’ which he sadly purchased himself,” he continued.
The actor took a playful jab at Ben Stiller, who was also in attendance. Like Sandler, Stiller became a household name in the late ’90s and early 2000s thanks to a string of hit comedies.
“While Daddy is with you tonight, we’re doing everything we’re not allowed to do when Daddy is home, like eat his Yodels, try on his Spanx or – dare we say – laugh out loud at Ben Stiller movies,” Sandler said. “The last time Daddy caught us chuckling away at the ‘Meet the Parents’ trilogy, he immediately stormed into the room he calls ‘The Screaming Room,’ which we just call the shower, and bellowed out the phrase, ‘Only the Sandman makes people laugh!’”
Sandler is back in the awards race this season with Netflix basketball drama “Hustle,” after winning National Board of Review’s best actor prize for 2019’s “Uncut Gems.” During his eight-minute speech at the Gothams, he referenced many of his most beloved funny movies, including “Billy Madison,” “Happy Gilmore” and “The Wedding Singer.”
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Adam Sandler’s daughters, whom he says wrote his #GothamAwards speech, were not present at the awards show. “I don’t want to spend a whole night that’s supposed to be about me and my greatness listening to you two newly pubetized buffoons screaming ‘Where is Timothée Chalamet?’” pic.twitter.com/jyPCkJVx2R
— Variety (@Variety) November 29, 2022
‘The Woman King’ director, Sidney Poitier, Michelle Williams also honored
Sandler was one of numerous big names to receive tributes at Monday’s Gothams, including “The Woman King” director Gina Prince-Bythewood and the late Sidney Poitier, whose family accepted an award on his behalf. “The Fabelmans” actress Michelle Williams also received a career tribute honor, which was given to her by co-star Paul Dano.
Dano stepped in to present the award to Williams after “Fabelmans” director Steven Spielberg tested positive for COVID-19. Williams, meanwhile, used her speech to pay tribute to her “Dawson’s Creek” co-star Mary Beth Piel, who became a mother figure to her when she was “an emancipated minor” at 16.
“Honestly, I was barely even a Michelle. I had just gotten people to stop calling me Shelly,” Williams recalled. “But now, I was Mary Beth’s girl. And that made me a somebody.”
‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ wins best feature
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” dominated this year’s Gothams with two major wins, for best feature and best supporting performance for Ke Huy Quan. A24’s multigenerational multiverse comedy marks a welcome comeback for Quan, 51, who broke out as a child star in ’80s action adventures “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies.”
“This time last year, all I was hoping for was just a job,” Quan said through tears. “And just when I think that it can’t get any better, it does.”
Gotham Awards winners 2022
Best feature: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Outstanding lead performance: Danielle Deadwyler, “Till”
Outstanding supporting performance: Ke Huy Quan, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Best screenplay: “Tár”
Best documentary feature: “All That Breathes”
Best international feature: “Happening”
Breakthrough director award: Charlotte Wells, “Aftersun”
Breakthrough performer: Gracija Filipovic, “Murina”
Best breakthrough series (long form): “Pachinko”
Best breakthrough series (short form): “Mo”
Best breakthrough series (nonfiction): “We Need to Talk About Cosby”
Outstanding performance in a new series: Ben Whishaw, “This is Going to Hurt”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Adam Sandler hilariously accepts Gotham award with daughters’ letter