Initially I was reluctant to go with Adam Sandler for this week’s OBYT until I Googled “Adam Sandler.” The first search that popped up was “Adam Sandler dead,” so clearly I’m not the only one who wonders where he is.
There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Adam Sandler is (was?) hilarious. My entire 7th grade year was spent quoting from his comedy album (for me it was comedy cassette tape) They’re All Gonna Laugh at You. It wasn’t until several years later that I realized this referenced the Stephen King book-turned-film Carrie. Hashtag pig’s blood. (This is the new thing, writing out the # so you can use it in places other than Twitter. Pass it on.)
Look, he has an impressive career catalogue. I wish I could understand how one could come in like a lion and go out like a lame. Sandler was discovered by Dennis Miller, of all people, while doing stand up in NYC. I assume this was before Dennis Miller became a raging conservative douchebag. Miller recommended Sandler to Lorne Michaels and poof…Sandler is a writer on SNL at the age of 24. The following year he stepped out from behind the camera and brought laughter into our hearts via such favorites as “The Thanksgiving Song,” and “The Chanukah Song.” I loved “The Chanukah Song,” because I got to find out who in Hollywood, and beyond, is Jewish. Although let’s be honest, keeping a list of Jewish people hasn’t always turned out very well.
In 1995 Adam Sandler, as well as Chris Farley, were fired from SNL. Not sure what happened with Sandler but I can guess what (nose) happened with (cocaine) Farley. Don’t despair, that same year he wrote and starred in the movie Billy Madison. In 1996 he followed that up with Happy Gilmore, which was like Billy Madison but with golf and beating up Bob Barker/eating pieces of shit for breakfast.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1JVyDNo0rQ
Then in 1998, an ’80s dream come true was released. Sandler gave us The Wedding Singer, a lovely feel good movie about a “failed” musician turned, you guessed it: wedding singer. What’s the best part? It’s set in the ’80s so the entire soundtrack is riddled with big hair and neon colors. Of all the reasons to adore this movie, the best part is a sweet cameo at the end from Billy “Somehow I Didn’t Age At All” Idol. He’s glorious. You know what they say: Billy Idol Hands are the Devil’s Playground…and I’d like to be that playground. Of course my favorite quote is the famed Van Halen T-shirt quote, so prophetic (go to the :42 mark).
Sandler kept it going relatively strong with back to back releases of The Waterboy, and Big Daddy, but he seemed to lose his edge after this. Things are not going well when you star as yourself, and they are really not going well when you star as yourself in a Pauly Shore film. Did he lose his Mojo or his Mojew?
In 2004 Sandler took a serious turn with the film Spanglish. It was good; not laugh-out-loud funny but that wasn’t the film’s intention. We can probably attribute this to his recent marriage in 2003 to wife Jackie Sandler. (I keep saying Jackie Chan in my head. Is that wrong?) Of course your creativity can often take a hit when you get a little too much honey on the ol’ stinger, if you know what I mean (If you don’t I’m suggesting that regularly putting your penis into a vagina will sap you of your hilarity).
He also crapped out 50 First Dates, which was so terrible it felt like I was going on 50 first dates, and the fuck-awful film Click which starred the eternally beautiful Kate Beckinsale. Let’s look at her for a moment:
Jesus, she’s lovely. Who can forget, though we should, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, as well as You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. Terrible.
Sandler briefly redeemed himself in 2009 with the movie Funny People, which starred Sandler as a stand-up comic turned shitty movie-maker (didn’t need to method act for this one) who finds out he might be dying. He enlists the help of comic-nobody Seth Rogen to write some new material. It was a touching movie about figuring out how to become a non-asshole and is an interesting glimpse into the mostly painful world of stand-up comedy.
In 2010 he produced and wrote the movie Grown-Ups which also starred the very funny Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade and Rob Schneider. Sadly this hilarious cast was not enough to save the film though there is a sequel being released sometime this year. Who knew?
Now there is a lot of disagreement over the film Jack and Jill. Obviously the idea is horrendous. Sandler plays himself as well as his own twin sister and for some reason Tom Cruise let Katie Holmes star in this movie. Perhaps that is why she finally decided to leave him. Fortunately the film managed to get Al Pacino as some obsessed, warped version of himself…or is it? I don’t know him personally but I sincerely hope Pacino is this fucking wacky in real life. I suggest seeing it, if only for The Pacino.
So, I don’t know. Comedy is subjective, of course. Someone out there still likes Adam Sandler because he keeps churning out questionably funny movies like a factory that builds cars without engines or wheels or seatbelts. I wish he could get in touch with his earlier career because as of now he was right…we are all gonna laugh AT you and I’d prefer to laugh WITH you.
Jenn Tisdale is a D.C. stand up comic. Follow her on <ahref=”https://twitter.com/Jenn_Tisdale”>Twitter at @Jenn_Tisdale.
No “celebrities” were harmed in the writing of this column. Its purpose is to mourn the loss of their careers, status, and in all likelihood bank accounts. This is an homage to their life’s work, both well-received and utterly humiliating. I have the utmost respect for all of them, even if they no longer have respect for themselves.