Adam Sandler’s Father Had Some Advice For Him About Failure

Adam Sandler's father insisted his son just always be happy above all else.

By Doug Norrie | Published

When he was younger, coming up on the comedic scene Adam Sandler’s father gave him some advice that helped prepare the comedian, actor, director, and producer for when movies or performances didn’t go exactly as planned. And that advice has helped carry him through a bunch of seemingly tough times when it came to movies he’s put out. After all, this guy doesn’t exactly have a perfect resume when it comes to the cinematic side of things even if he’s earned millions and millions.

While speaking with AARP (via Variety), Adam Sandler discussed advice his father gave him early on that’s helped at a number of moments in his career. It is advice that probably everyone could stand to hear, but especially one in the public eye trying to convey various comedy, writing, performance, or stories to a large group of people. Sandler said this about his father’s words: 

“I always remember something my father said…I recall one time that something didn’t go right for me. I bombed onstage or didn’t get an audition. I was upset and probably embarrassed. And he said, ‘Adam, you can’t always be happy. People aren’t always going to like you. You’re going to fail.’ I said, ‘But I just want to be happy, man. I don’t want all that other crap.’ He said, ‘You won’t actually know you’re happy if you don’t feel that other stuff.’”

Right on. It’s easy to see how a guy like Adam Sandler could take something like this heart and it’s actually even easier to see how he’s applied it. That’s because this guy’s movies and performances have been all over the map over the course of his career.

But a couple of things have been true for Adam Sandler during this time. One, he’s always gotten back up and tried to make other movies. And two, there’s a long line of people who want to work with him.

The second piece is especially important in a place like Hollywood where buy-in among talent can often make or break productions. And through his Happy Madison Productions, Adam Sandler has been able to bring all of his friends in on movies while also working with some of the best out there for new stories and moves as well. 

The short term has been a good run for Sandler on Netflix with his basketball movie Hustle scoring well with critics, sitting at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. In it, Sandler plays a basketball scout who’s stumbled on a fantastic NBA talent he now needs to mold into form before the draft. It was a deeply human story that also brought in basketball on an almost perfect level.

And before that, Adam Sandler had a very different kind of movie, for him, with Uncut Gems in which he played a diamond dealer and gambling addict who simply can’t get his life together. It was a raw role for Sandler who played it with almost manic energy. It scored 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

As for the future, he has some movies coming up that could strike the right notes. One is a sequel to a comedy that hit a lot of the right notes when he teams back up with Jennifer Aniston for Murder Mystery 2. And there’s also Spaceman about a Czech boy who wants to be his country’s first astronaut. That movie also stars Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan. 

And if any of them don’t go well, well Adam Sandler can also think back on that advice his father gave him.