Adam Sandler Reflects on Filming First Movie 'Going Overboard' at 22 Years Old (Exclusive)

The beloved comic filmmaker spoke with ET ahead of being honored with the Mark Twain Prize in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

Making the world laugh for over three decades. Adam Sandler is looking back as his career in comedy is celebrated with a very special honor.

Sandler walked the carpet outside the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, ahead of being honored with the 24th Annual Mark Twain Prize For American Humor.

Sandler spoke with ET's Rachel Smith on the carpet, and reflected on his very first big screen role in the 1989 comedy Going Overboard, which he shot when he was 22 years old, and pre-dated his years on Saturday Night Live.

"That was probably the last time I was excited about the shirt coming off," Sandler joked about his role as Shecky Moskowitz, an inexperienced stand-up comic on a cruise ship. "I got to meet Milton Berle during that movie, and... that was a dream come true."

"That's what I was trying to do -- become an actor and comedian. And all of a sudden I was in a movie! I was playing a comedian, and I didn't care about too much else in the world," he remembered. "I was just excited about going after it."

In the nearly 34 years since Going Overboard premiered, Sandler has gone on to star in, write and produce dozens of comedy classics and shine in dramatic work, like his acclaimed performances in Punch Drunk Love, Uncut Gems and Hustle.

Sandler is also known for his dedication to his friends and collaborators, working frequently with a select group of comics and actors across multiple films. One such frequent co-star is Drew Barrymore -- who also attended the honors on Sunday. As she told ET, she's excited to find a project to work with Sandler on again in the future.

"We just said [spoke] this morning to each other, I saw her in a hotel and her beautiful children, and she is she just so nice," Sandler complimented Barrymore. "So nice to my family, always sits down, hangs out with my kids. She's the best."

Sandler starred opposite Barrymore in The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, and Blended. "When we make a movie together," he said of the actress, "every day is beautiful."