‘Funny People’ Stars Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow Recall Early Days As Comics

'Robin Williams went on and I had to go after him,' says Sandler of early stand-up gig.

These days it seems like Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow can get a movie green-lit just by wishing it were so: Scribble something down on the back of a cocktail napkin and — boom! — movie deal. Apatow just signed a three-picture pact with Universal and Sandler has been making roughly a comedy a year for more than a decade. But it certainly wasn’t that easy back when they were struggling Los Angeles comedians, sharing an apartment and trying to make it big.

Obviously, they’ve found success by now, as well as separate living spaces. “Funny People,” their movie about life as a stand-up comedian, hit theaters on Friday (July 31), and in an interview with MTV News, the two men shared their remembrances of their most triumphant moments from their early days.

“The best moment I ever had, I got hired to write jokes for Roseanne [Barr] and I convinced her to give me a raise to $800 a week in 1990,” Apatow recalled. “That was the moment everything changed, when I could valet my car instead of having it broken into when I went to the Improv [comedy club].”

“You paid for fettuccine Alfredo that week!” Sandler laughed.

“That was the best stand-up moment I ever had,” declared Apatow, who went on to create his own TV shows (“Freaks and Geeks,” “Undeclared”) and then become arguably the hottest name in Hollywood comedy.

Sandler’s had, oh, just a tiny bit of success, too: “Saturday Night Live” and 10 movies that have grossed north of $100 million at the box office. But back in the day, he was content simply to perform before famous funnymen at a comedy club.

“Robin Williams went on and I had to go after him,” Sandler recalled. “I was a young comedian and I didn’t do great, but I did good enough where everyone was like, ‘You went after Robin Williams! You did all right!’ So it kind of made me a little bit of a hit at the Improv.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Funny People.”

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