“Funny People,” the latest film from “Knocked Up” director and all-around Hollywood comedy tastemaker Judd Apatow, opens today nationwide (and is getting excellent reviews). It stars a bunch of Apatow regulars like Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill but marks the first collaboration between the director and star Adam Sandler. The accompanying movie soundtrack features a whole bunch of classic rock tunes (including a never-before-heard demo of John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels”) and also contains a recording of Sandler playing the Lennon song “Real Love.” Though he has long-established himself as a legitimate film star, Sandler got his start playing funny songs on “Saturday Night Live” and on several hit albums (including They’re All Gonna Laugh at You and What the Hell Happened to Me?). Sandler even scored a radio hit with “The Hanukkah Song,” something that finds its way onto rock radio every December.
But Sandler hasn’t totally hung up his musical spurs. He performed on last year’s “VH1 Rock Honors: The Who” (he shredded on “Magic Bus”) and lent his axe skills to an all-star jam of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” (along with Conan O’Brien, Jack Black and Jimmy Fallon). And at last year’s MTV Movie Awards, he penned this ode to the winner of the MTV Generation Award — himself.