Today is Adam Sandler’s 51st birthday. He is part of a very long list of film and television industry alumni of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1988. He made his first TV guest appearances while still at NYU, and made his film debut in Going Overboard in 1989. A year later, he was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live, and he joined the show’s performing cast in 1991, remaining until 1995.
Sandler’s first real film success came in 1995, when he wrote and starred in Billy Madison. A critical bust, the film nevertheless succeeded at the box office, making over $25 million domestically against a $10 million budget. Happy Gilmore, a year later, was a similar story, following which Sandler had a very good 1998, starring with Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer, and writing, producing and starring in his biggest box office hit ever in inflation-adjusted terms, The Waterboy.