If Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas (and she doesn’t think she is), Adam Sandler is the king of Hanukkah. In 1994, while still on SNL, he debuted “The Chanukah Song,” which he wrote due to the lack of songs celebrating the Jewish holiday during the holidays. It was an instant classic, one that he since updated, and it gave Sandler another holiday song after “The Thanksgiving Song,” which he had bowed two years prior. The thing is, Sandler almost wasn’t the one who sang it.
By DeadlineSandler sat down to chat with Access Hollywood, during which he discussed the episode in which it first aired. It was December 3, 1994 and the host was Roseanne Barr, with Green Day as the musical guest. But Lorne Michaels and company thought about giving the song to another member of the tribe.
“They were talking about Roseanne singing it, and she was kind enough to say, ‘No, let Adam do that, it’s his, he wrote it, it’s his song,'” he recalls.
“I’m happy to be a part of Hanukkah,” he added. “It was a good time of life to associate with song and holidays. Very proud of this.
Sandler says he’s still a fan of it. “I sing it alone, I sing it without the kids, I go into our basement, I rip it out, I make soft shoes for it,” Sandler said. “No, if it comes on the radio and I hear it, I’m excited, it’s still great.”
Would the song have worked if it had been sung by Roseanne? Know that his most famous musical moment is a notoriously devastating version of “Star Spangled Banner,” maybe not. Given the the direction his life has taken in recent yearsMaybe it’s for the best, Lorne lets Sandler handle it.
You can watch the original SNL rendition of “The Chanukah Song” in the video above. You can watch her Access Hollywood chat below.
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