Discover Adam Sandler's role in the Netflix animated comedy Leo

    In the Netflix comedy Leo, Adam Sandler lends his voice to the character of Leo, an animated gecko with a distinct SNL sensibility.

    Leo (Source: Dexerto)

    Leo (Source: Dexerto)

    In the whimsical Netflix movie musical, Leo, imagine the conversations if the pets in a 5th-grade classroom could talk. The storyline follows a snarky turtle, voiced by comedian Bill Burr, cohabiting with Leo, a mild-mannered lizard voiced by Adam Sandler. Leo, aged 74, discovers his gift for aiding kids on the brink of middle school, all while expressing weariness of the tale of Charlotte's Web.

    SNL Roots in Leo

    Leo, a coming-of-age musical infused with Saturday Night Live charm, boasts a cast and creative team, including Sandler, Cecily Strong, co-writer/director Robert Smigel, and animators/co-directors Robert Marianetti and David Wachtenheim, who all share ties to SNL. Sandler, inspired by the late talent manager Bernie Brillstein, molds Leo's voice, offering a nod to Brillstein's influential SNL connections.

    Leo (Source: Netflix)

    Pandemic Parenting Insights

    During the pandemic, Smigel and Sandler collaborated on Leo, drawing inspiration from their experiences as parents of elementary school kids. "They were dealing with what these kids go through," notes Sandler, "and we were dealing with what the parents go through. We were right in the heart of it."

    Their own children contributed voices for some characters, with Sunny Sandler as the motormouth, Sadie Sandler as the popular girl, Roey Smigel portraying a character with drone surveillance from his parents, and Ethan Smigel taking on the role of the class bully.

    "Leo" caters to children but carries an oddball, irreverent humor that resonates with adults, particularly in the songs penned by Smigel, famed for creating Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Jason Alexander lends his voice to Jayda's dad, a comically self-absorbed character. In a Broadway-style number, he amusingly brags about securing "extra time" for his daughter's schoolwork, treating it like a negotiation triumph.