They’re two of the biggest comedy stars in the world, and they’ve worked together many times over the years, but Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow actually go way back — much further than you’d think, looking at their divergent careers. Although comparatively successful and famous, Sandler and Apatow have enjoyed very different trajectories. Sandler is the standup-turned-acting superstar whose partnership with streaming giant Netflix has proven incredibly fruitful, as per World of Reel. For his part, Apatow is one of the most prolific and beloved filmmakers in Hollywood.
As Screen Rant notes, Sandler technically gave Apatow his start in Hollywood via uncredited re-writes on his hit movie Happy Gilmore. The up-and-comer also produced Sandler’s standup CDs. Apatow later paid it forward by casting Sandler in Funny People, which is widely credited as one of his best roles. As it turns out, it wasn’t a random choice either, as Apatow was helping out an old buddy.
Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow started out as Hollywood roommates
The comedy duo initially started out their Hollywood journey together while splitting a $900-a-month apartment in the Valley. As THR reports, Sandler and Apatow discussed their prior living arrangements during a joint appearance on 60 Minutes Overtime. “Back then, life was just doing stand-up or writing jokes. You would sleep until noon every day and kind of stumble out,” Apatow recalled. He added, “You would have to be at work at 8:30 at night. Work was sometimes 15 minutes.” Sandler reportedly slept on a mattress on the floor without sheets, occasionally even sharing with a friend.
However, the superstars in the making didn’t consider themselves financially lacking, with Sandler clarifying, “It wasn’t broke. We were doing as comedians good enough to get by.” The duo could even afford to eat at Red Lobster for a monthly treat, with the comedian deadpanning, “That was a big night out,” with Apatow confirming they considered themselves “fancy” as a result. Although they got along just fine, the two frequently fought over who was more handsome (Sandler, reportedly, typically won out) and Apatow annoyed his roommate by using his bathroom.
When Sandler left to join Saturday Night Live, he continued paying rent, worried that it wouldn’t work out and he’d be forced to return. As Apatow recalled, “He just left, like he was going to come back, but he just didn’t come back.”
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