Adam Sandler first introduced “The Chanukah Song” in 1994 during the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live.” Although he penned the holiday tune himself, Sandler revealed in an interview with Access Hollywood that Roseanne Barr — who was hosting that week — almost performed the song on the late-night show.
“They were talking about Roseanne singing it,” Sandler recalled. “And she was nice enough to say ‘no, let Adam do that, that’s his, he wrote it, that’s his song.’”
During the “Weekend Update” segment with Norm Macdonald in 1994, Sandler explained that he wrote the song after noticing the lack of music about Hanukkah.
“Put on your yarmulke. Here comes Hanukkah. So much funukah. To celebrate Hanukkah,” Sandler sang. “Hanukkah is the festival of lights. Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.”
Sandler then listed several celebrities who are Jewish, including David Lee Roth, James Caan, Kirk Douglas and Dinah Shore.
“O.J. Simpson, not a Jew. But guess who is? Hall of famer Rod Carew — he converted,” the comedian continued. “We got Ann Landers and her sister Dear Abby. Harrison Ford’s a quarter Jewish — not too shabby.”
Sandler, who is considered the king of Hanukkah, said of the song’s success: “I’m happy to be a part of Hanukkah. That was a good time of life to be associated with the song and the holiday. Very proud of that.”
Does Sandler still sing “The Chanukah Song”? “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,” he said. “If it comes on the radio, and I hear it, I get excited. That’s still awesome.”