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Brooklyn 99: The True Story Behind Adam Sandler’s Cameo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 1 featured a cameo from Adam Sandler, marking a reunion with Andy Samberg after previously co-starring in two films.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine featured a cameo from Adam Sandler in its debut season, here’s how this surprise guesting happened. The police procedural sitcom has had an interesting run thus far after debuting in 2013; coming into its sixth season, it was canceled by Fox only to be picked up by NBC. It currently has seven seasons under its belt with its eighth and final season expected to debut in 2021.

Chronicling the day-to-day operations of Brooklyn’s 99th Police Precinct, the events of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was kicked off when Raymond Holt became the titular 99’s new captain. Known for his stoicism and no-nonsense approach, the squad initially had a difficult time connecting with him, especially coming from a more relaxed commanding officer. Eventually, the team gelled, developing a bond beyond basic professional relationships. While Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s main draw has always been its stellar ensemble cast, the show has had its fair share of surprise guests throughout the years — many of whom have been staples in creator Dan Goor and Michael Schur’s other projects. One of its earliest cameos, however, came from Sandler, which was a shock to many since he doesn’t really fit that profile

Appearing in Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 1, episode 15, “Operation Broken Feather,” Jake and Amy hunt down a jewelry thief who’s scouting his victims at an auction. Jake improvises and takes over the bidding to better spot their suspect but as he does a bad job doing it, Sandler, who plays himself, interrupts him and criticizes his hosting skills. Their initial encounter leads to further chaos when Sandler floats the idea of stocking Jake’s mouth with his socks. Everything abruptly ends, however, when the culprit inadvertently revealed himself. So, how did Brooklyn Nine-Nine bring in Sandler for a cameo? It had something to do with his previous working relationship with Andy Samberg, who plays the show’s lead as well as co-producing it.

In 2012, the pair co-starred in the satirical comedy, That’s My Boy; Samberg played Sandler’s estranged grown-up son who reconnected with his father just before tying the knot. Adam Sandler, who also produced the film, revealed that he first knew of Samberg after realizing that they had similar-sounding names, but as he started watching him, he realized how talented and funny his contemporary is. At that point, Samberg had just ended his stint as a regular on Saturday Night Live! — another thing he shared with Sandler who was also once a cast member on the famed variety show. After That’s My Boy, they once again worked on the Hotel Transylvania animated film series as voice actors. Sandler and Samberg seemed to have developed a personal friendship since working together, with the latter even inviting the former to his wedding.

For his part, Samberg made a cameo in Grown Ups 2 which Sandler starred in and co-produced. The movie was filmed in 2012 and released in 2013, around the same time Brooklyn Nine-Nine was shot. Given this, it’s possible that the actors had some sort of agreement to bolster each other’s projects by appearing on them. In any case, it’s safe to say that Sandler was more than happy appearing on the previously Fox sitcom considering he’s a Brooklyn native.

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