Adam Sandler honored with Mark Twain Prize

STORY: Sandler, whose movies include "Spanglish," "The Wedding Singer," and "The Waterboy," was celebrated for his comedic chops that, while not always winning the hearts of critics, have won over fans and generated billions of dollars.

"I think my inner child would be like, what happened to baseball? I thought we were going to do that. But I'm sure I'm very, very, I didn't know any of this stuff was coming. I really that wasn't even a thought. But I know I'm sure everyone else who was in this gang of Mark Twain recipients didn't think about it either. Just here we are. It's amazing. And I'm proud."

Sandler's friends and acting partners, along with his mother and his wife, took to the Kennedy Center stage to gently rib the actor and highlight his development as a stand-up comic, movie actor and singer.

Actor Rob Schneider said "It's it's very fitting because Adam Sandler is an everyman and Mark Twain was that everyman able to convey very complex societal ills and stuff that still works today."

Actress Drew Barrymore said "I also love his performances where he's subtle because, you know, most comedians, when they're not on, they have this like gentleness. But he's also not -he lacks in cruelty. And some -listen some comedians have to go there and I respect it because I don't have the balls to do that myself. But I appreciate when others do. And we get to be the lucky recipients of their bravery. Adam can go to the farthest depths, but somehow he does it without alienating people. And that is a true art as far as comedy is concerned."

Sandler joins the ranks of other comedians who have received the Mark Twain Prize, including Jon Stewart, Dave Chappelle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Letterman, Carol Burnett, Eddie Murphy and Ellen DeGeneres.

The prize is named after novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain.