is going back to basics in the trailer for his Netflix stand-up special 100% Fresh, his first in over 20 years. The project also reunites him with Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Sandler in what is by far his most acclaimed performance in 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love.
A single repeating piano chord scores the trailer, which sees Sandler make a triumphant return to stand-up on a minimally dressed stage.
It’s a surprisingly intimate setting for Sandler, whose spotty but still wildly lucrative career has engendered extreme reactions on either end of the quality spectrum. He can get a standing ovation at Cannes, as he did for his performance in Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories for Netflix, or he can log a (questionably sourced) half-billion viewing hours for truly dreadful output like The Ridiculous 6.
Either way, it’s rare to see current-day Sandler in such unassuming form. This is his first special since Adam Sandler: What the Hell Happened to Me? in 1996, which came out a year after he left his role as a cast member on Saturday Night Live seemingly a whole eternity ago.
And so, with this new backdrop, we’ll have to see whether the new special marks a renewal in terms of quality, or is just more of the middling same. The special is being directed by frequent Sandler collaborator Steven Brill, who’s worked with him on recent Netflix projects The Do-Over and Sandy Wexler, but some fans are still holding out hope that it’ll be interesting after news that Anderson filmed parts of the new special.
We can judge for ourselves soon enough, as 100% Fresh launches on Netflix on Oct. 23. Watch the trailer below.