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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Adam Sandler

Once upon a time there was a brash young SNL performer, who could play guitar and sang funny songs. So successful was he, he became a template.

Sorry, I'm just too sick of the Haunnukah Song to link to it.

The same way John Belushi begat Chris Farley, who begat Horatio Sanz and ensured there had to be a funny fat guy on SNL, Adam Sandler made it so there had to be a goofy guy who could sing. Jimmy Fallon's first appearance on SNL had him singing songs as a guest on Weekend Update. You don't get Andy Samberg doing "Dick in a Box" if Sandler hadn't started that path.

Now, I am not a reflexive Sandler-basher. I like some of his movies. If he has a strong director - like Judd Apatow, James Brooks, or PT Anderson - he can be a very moving performer. If I come across The Wedding Singer or 50 First Dates on one of cable channels that seems to play it on a loop, I have to watch a little of it.

But, dear Odin....

It's funny, 'cause he has to lie to fuck the bikini model!

It's funny, 'cause they all pee in public!

And because bandwidth costs money, I'll stop with two.

I know. I know the Idiot Manchild With a Heart of Gold scripts write themselves. I know they make $100-$120 million per picture. But, really? Rock, James, and Sandler are all funny people and you have them pissing in a water park pool? You're making Jennifer Aniston play a shrewy ex so we can all make jokes about her and leer at Brooklyn Decker? (PS: I have a cable modem. I can leer at Brooklyn Decker whenever I want and not pay $13 to do so.) (UPDATE: My wife says no, I can't.)

Sandler has a loyal audience, so long as he keeps doing the farts & boobs humor. I know it's a lot to ask your average frat boy to go and see Punch Drunk Love, but maybe he could push a little for something smarter? Is it really so much to ask that Sandler shoot for the level of The Hangover or Bridemaids?

Even some of his dumb comedies are interesting. Little Nicky had a very unique take on the afterlife and one of Rodney Dangerfield's last roles. You Don't Mess With Zohan actually had some interesting things to say about the Middle East.

But no. These were not as popular as Big Daddy or Mr. Deeds or any of the other idiot manchild learns to grow up movies.

So, will Adam Sandler continue to make the easy choice? Or will he try and challenge his fans to grow up along with his characters?

Take a guess.

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