She didn’t wanna-kah. Roseanne Barr had the opportunity to sing Adam Sandler’s beloved “Chanukah Song” while hosting Saturday Night Live in 1994, but thought Sandler, 57, should perform the tune himself.
“They were talking about Roseanne singing it,” Sandler revealed during a Monday, November 20, interview with Access Hollywood. “And she was nice enough to say, ‘No, let Adam do that. That’s his, he wrote it, that’s his song.’”
Sandler debuted the song during SNL’s “Weekend Update” segment in December 1994, noting that he’d written it after noticing the lack of Chanukah music in the world.
“When I was a kid, this time of year always made me feel a little left out because in school there were so many Christmas songs and all us Jewish kids had was the song ‘Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,’” he quipped on the sketch comedy show.
In “Chanukah Song,” Sandler lists several celebrities who are Jewish, including David Lee Roth and William Shatner. The comedian told Access Hollywood on Tuesday that he’s proud of the tune’s legacy.
“I’m happy to be a part of Chanukah. That was a good time of life to be associated with the song and the holiday. Very proud of that,” he said.
When asked whether he still sings the festive ditty, Sandler replied: “I sing it alone, I sing it without the kids, I go into our basement, I rip it out, I do the soft-shoe to it. If it comes on the radio, and I hear it, I get excited. That’s still awesome.”
While the cultural significance of “Chanukah Song” is undeniable, Sandler resisted being called the “Mariah Carey of Chanukah.” (Carey’s 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is one of the best-selling digital singles of all time.)
“Mariah Carey is for all of us,” Sandler insisted.
In addition to talking about his holiday hit, the Uncut Gems star also told Access Hollywood about his experience working with his daughters — Sadie, 17, and Sunny, 15 — on the animated film Leo, which fits Netflix on Tuesday, November 21.
“[It was] just great being around those kids and seeing them happy,” said Sandler, who plays the film’s titular lizard. He added that his on-set dynamic with his children isn’t that different from the one they have at home.
“[It] doesn’t change that much. They still stare at me like, ‘What’s he mad at?’” he joked.
Sandler shares Sadie and Sunny with wife Jackie Titone, whom he wed in 2003. He previously starred alongside his daughters in the coming-of-age film You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah, which was released by Netflix in August.
As for how his girls feel about “The Chanukah Song,” Sandler said, “They’re proud of it too.”