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Actor Aubrey Plaza has worked with many big names in comedy, from Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation to Zac Efron in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. However, one of her early encounters in show business was none other than Adam Sandler. Discover how he was involved in one memorable night for Plaza.

Aubrey Plaza is known for ‘Parks and Recreation’

Plaza broke out as one of the stars of Parks and Rec. The comedy aired on NBC for seven seasons, from 2009-2015. Plaza portrayed April Ludgate, who begins the series as an intern at the Pawnee Parks Department. Throughout the show, she goes from being a disinterested college student to an adult with a career she loves.

The actor segued into notable film roles during and following Parks and Rec. She’s starred in The To Do ListIngrid Goes West, and many more. In 2020 alone, she appeared in Black Bear (which she also produced) and Happiest Season. Plaza is also recognized for her role in the FX series Legion.

1 of her first movies was in ‘Funny People’

Around the same time she was cast in Parks and Rec, Plaza also scored memorable roles in two well-known films. In addition to her 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, she portrayed Daisy in the Judd Apatow-helmed dark comedy Funny People, starring Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler.

The film depicts Ira Wright (Rogen), an aspiring comedian. He gets a job as an assistant and writer for George Simmons (Sandler), a famous comedian and movie star who is dying of cancer. Daisy is Ira’s neighbor who he’s interested in, but she ends up sleeping with his roommate, Mark (Jason Schwartzman).

Plaza spent time with the cast, including Adam Sandler

(L-R): Aziz Ansari, Eric Bana, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, Adam Sandler, Aubrey Plaza and Seth Rogen at the premiere of 'Funny People' on July 20, 2009.
(L-R): Aziz Ansari, Eric Bana, Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann, Adam Sandler, Aubrey Plaza, and Seth Rogen at the premiere of ‘Funny People’ on July 20, 2009. | Kevin Mazur/WireImage

With such a star-studded cast (that also includes Jonah Hill, Leslie Mann, and several other comedians playing themselves in cameos), Plaza was surrounded by talent. When she agreed to go to a comedy event to watch them all perform, she ended up on stage herself,” as she told Sean Evans on Hot Ones in 2019.

“That was one of the most f*cked up nights of my life because Judd Apatow totally duped me,” she said of the evening. “He invited me to the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach and was like ‘Just come with the cast [of Funny People], with Jonah [Hill] and Adam [Sandler], and you can watch them. We’ll just kind of get into it.”

She had to follow Sandler on stage

Aubrey Plaza attends the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 08, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
Aubrey Plaza | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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Plaza continued the story. “Backstage [Apatow] came up to me, and he was like ‘You’re going on next. You’re following Sandler.’ And I was like, ‘Are you f*cking kidding me?’ And then Adam came up to me and was like, ‘You’re gonna die out there,'” she said, mimicking a funny voice Sandler does sometimes.

“[Sandler] hadn’t done stand-up in like years at that point, so the audience gave him a standing ovation when they just announced his name he hadn’t even said anything yet,” Plaza said. “I was sitting behind the curtain going, ‘This is not gonna go well for me.'”

But in the end, she was called her performance “great.” “I think when you have nothing to lose, it actually works in your favor,” Plaza explained. “Because I didn’t have any credits at that time, so when they announced me, they just said, ‘And now we have Aubrey Plaza from Wilmington, Delaware.'”