Why Steve Buscemi Is In So Many Of HIs Films

Adam Sandler has numerous recurring co-stars in his movies, and one of the most frequent is Steve Buscemi. Though Adam Sandler’s dramatic work in Hustle is more of an outlier in his principally comedic career, Buscemi is well-known for dramatic roles on shows like Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos. Still, Buscemi also has a great talent for comedy and has shown his knack for deadpan humor in films like The Big Lebowski and Armageddon, while his movies with Adam Sandler presented him with the opportunity to jump into the comedy sphere.


As with other frequent Sandler co-stars like Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade, Sandler and Buscemi are good friends off-screen. Sandler even paid tribute to his long-standing friendship with Buscemi in a guitar-strumming song during Buscemi’s fundraiser livestream Fireside Chat With Steve Buscemi and Friends as the world dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2020 holiday season. Even with such an acknowledgment by Sandler, the frequency with which Buscemi appears in his films might not be one of their most immediately recognized aspects.

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While Adam Sandler’s movies with Drew Barrymore have made her another of his best known repeat co-stars, the nature of Buscemi’s appearances in Sandler movies also helps explain why he is a bit more in the background of Sandler’s collaborators. Buscemi’s roles in Adam Sandler movies tend to be more secondary in nature, which along with his dramatic work elsewhere helps contextualize the somewhat surprising breadth of their work together. Looking over Sandler and Buscemi’s filmographies, the latter’s ventures into comedy have frequently brought the two together.

Every Adam Sander & Steve Buscemi Movie

Sandler’s movies are often ensemble comedies, especially after the formation of Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions. With Sandler’s working relationship with so many former SNL cast members and other big stars, getting co-stars from a previous comedy movie, such as Steve Buscemi, into another is an easy sell for him. With Buscemi appearing in Adam Sandler’s Netflix movies and his theatrical productions, here is every Adam Sandler movie in which Steve Buscemi can be seen or heard in a voice role.

Airheads (1994)

Billy Madison (1995)

The Wedding Singer (1998)

Big Daddy (1999)

Mr. Deeds (2002)

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

Grown Ups (2010)

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Grown Ups 2 (2013)

The Cobbler (2014)

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

The Ridiculous 6 (2015)

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

Hubie Halloween (2020)

What’s The Best Adam Sandler & Steve Buscemi Movie

When it comes to Sandler and Buscemi’s work together, 1999’s Big Daddy has their most memorable and hilarious comedic dynamic with Buscemi’s role as “Homeless Guy” whom Sandler’s Sonny Koufax crosses paths with in his New York City commute. Trying to get his adopted son Julian (Cole and Dylan Sprouse) to McDonald’s before breakfast service ends (Sonny having not “been up in time for that in, like, ten years“), Adam Sandler’s expectedly anger-prone Sonny enters a bribe with the homeless guy for a Sausage McMuffin with hashbrowns that he cashes in at Julian’s custody court case. Buscemi’s homeless guy fervently testifies on Sonny’s behalf while getting into a heated argument with Sonny’s delivery guy friend Nazo (Rob Schneider) over his rather nationalistic endorsement of spaghetti and meatballs. Buscemi’s homeless guy in Big Daddy delivers some of its best jokes, Sonny also inspiring the homeless guy to reconnect with his own estranged father after a falling out over an involuntary military crew-cut. Big Daddy is not only one of Adam Sandler’s best movies but also the best Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi comedy pairing, one that’s even better than lamb and tuna fish.

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