While Adam Sandler’s ordinary stand-up routine (free of Jewish references) was reliant on poop jokes and overt sexual references, when he ventured into the realm of Jewish humor, he suddenly morphed into a Nice Jewish Boy. For proof, look no further than Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song.”
“The Hanukkah Song” was first performed by Sandler in 1994 on Saturday Night Live. The introductory verse contains the heartfelt line, “If you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree/Here’s a list of folks who are Jewish, just like you and me.” The song is a straightforward run-down of many well-known celebrities who are Jewish. For example: “Paul Newman’s half-Jewish/Goldie Hawn’s half too/Put ’em both together, what a fine-looking Jew!” Though seemingly irrelevant, the song has become a poignant anthem of Jewish pride. Sandler has spoken publicly about his childhood in New Hampshire and about the anti-Semitic taunts he endured as the only Jewish student in his public school. Perhaps this is what drove him to write the song.