Adam Sandler finds the sweet spot for comedy residency at the Chelsea

Adam Sandler at the Chelsea, shown here performing on November 10.
Erik Kabik/Courtesy

Adam Sandler has been a movie star for so long—and before Billy Madison made him mega-famous in 1995, he was a beloved Saturday Night Live cast member—it’s hard to decide what kind of expectations to take into his current stage show, which has found a recurring home at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. You know there will be songs and d*ck jokes. But you don’t expect the 51-year-old household name to offer the same self-conscious, giggly-stoner stage presence that has guided his comedy since he broke through playing characters on late-’80s MTV game show Remote Control.

But he does. That goofball is older and has a wife and kids, but as a comedian he hasn’t changed, much to his fans’ roaring delight. The audience at his second Cosmo show (November 17) couldn’t get enough of the Sandman, and the more juvenile and disgusting the material, the bigger the applause. There was a healthy amount of time dedicated to old men’s balls in the gym locker room. He thrice repeated the line “If you accidentally make a farty,” from a song about new love, because he knew everyone wanted him to. He tried to disturb his daughter’s winning mini-golf shot by whispering during her backswing: “I tea-bagged your mother this morning." The joke continues, "And the kid sinks the putt and says, ‘I know, I saw.’”

Sandler even attempted philosophical toilet humor. “Have you ever been wiping your ass so many wipes in a row that you go, Okay, no matter what, after this wipe, out of principle, I’m f*cking done. That’s it. I don’t give a f*ck what happens later in the day.” Later, one of the show’s openers, SNL buddy Rob Schneider, returned to duet (as cosmonaut Yuri) with Sandler on a song about two “accidentally” intertwined astronauts—“Now we’re in zero gravity just spinning round and round/Next thing I know I’m rightside up, and Yuri’s upside down”—in one of the evening’s pinnacles, “Just Another Accident on Station 69.”

But just because he’s staying in his lane doesn’t mean he isn’t staying sharp. Sandler snuck a quick quip into the introduction for his pianist Dan Bulla, telling the audience Bulla’s father was in the hospital right now and wasn’t doing well. At the first hint of sympathy sounds, Sandler interjected, “His dad is Charles Manson.” His catchy rap about only having to take his phone, wallet and keys every place he went was better composed and executed that the majority of mumbly trap songs on the radio.

If other comedians earnestly lament getting older and settling down, Sandler is clearly happy with his version domestic bliss, even in awe of it—but he’ll never stop making fun of it. He’s right on the money with an anecdote about riding a roller coaster with some guy from Oklahoma after his family leaves him in the dust to take their dad-less ride together; and in a quick tune about solving arguments with his wife by looking up the answer on his phone, only to pretend he can’t find that answer when it proves that he’s wrong.

“I’ve been with my girl 20 years now. It’s pretty great,” Sandler says. “Marriage is the best, but it is fun to be alone on occasion. And I don’t look up porn, I look up empty driveways. Ooh … no one’s in the house. How f*cking gorgeous. I don’t have to watch ‘Cupcake Wars.’

Sandler returns to the Chelsea on January 27.

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Brock is an award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently leads entertainment ...

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