15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘Happy Gilmore’
Sports, berserk fistfights with septuagenarians, gratuitous Subway sandwich commercials — Happy Gilmore truly has it all. In honor of the best golf comedy that doesn’t feature any animatronic rodents, we’ve assembled 15 nuggets of trivia about Happy Gilmore beyond the fact that Grizzly Adams did indeed have a beard...
The Story Was Inspired by Adam Sandler’s Childhood Friend
The origin of the Happy Gilmore story can be traced back to Sandler’s childhood friend Kyle McDonough. While McDonough didn’t assault any elderly game-show hosts (that we know of), he was a pro hockey player in Norway. After showing off his golf drive one day, Sandler’s father remarked that McDonough was able to hit the ball so far because he had “hockey wrists.”
Kevin Costner Turned Down the Role of Shooter McGavin
It’s hard to imagine anybody but Christopher McDonald playing the role of villain, and self-proclaimed shit-eater, Shooter McGavin. But originally, the part was offered to Kevin Costner, who turned it down, presumably because it didn’t have enough baseball and/or urine-drinking scenes.
Bob Barker’s Part Was Written for Ed McMahon
The most memorable sequence in the movie, no doubt, is Happy’s brawl with Price Is Right host Bob Barker. But Barker’s name didn’t appear in the original script; screenwriter Tim Herlihy wrote the cameo for Johnny Carson’s former sidekick Ed McMahon, who reportedly “never responded” to the offer.
Barker ‘Barely’ Used His Stunt Double
According to director Dennis Dugan, Barker “couldn’t have been a nicer gentleman.” He was also a “trained martial artist” who “barely even used his stunt double” during the shoot.
Chuck Norris Inadvertently Influenced the Fight Scene
By the way, Barker’s martial arts training? It was with his neighbor Chuck “Insert Chuck Norris Joke Here” Norris. In the script, Happy was supposed to emerge from the scuffle victorious, but Barker told Sandler, “I train with Chuck, we train every night, and he helps me with my punches and my kicks,” adding, “I would love to do this, but I have to win this fight.”
One of the Announcers Was Adam Sandler’s Old Roommate
One of the golf announcers seen in the movie was Sandler’s old college roommate Jack Giarraputo, who was randomly instructed to grab “a coat and tie” and “get some makeup on” one day and join sportscaster Verne Lundquist — but he wasn’t allowed to say anything because he wasn’t a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
A Golf Legend Later Regretted His Cameo Because of All the Cursing
The famous Grizzly Adams line was delivered by golf legend Lee Trevino — but he later expressed regret over the cameo because of the film’s “foul language.” Which is also possibly why Trevino never appears in Goodfellas.
Carl Weathers Seriously Injured His Back During Chubbs’ Death Scene
For the scene in which Chubbs falls out the window, during one take, Weathers reportedly hit his back on the wall, not the stunt bags — and he felt “excruciating pain” for years afterward, calling the experience “debilitating.”
Chubbs Showed Up in ‘Little Nicky’
Even after he died in Happy Gilmore, Chubbs showed up in the afterlife for a brief cameo in Little Nicky.
Ben Stiller’s Character Got His Comeuppance in a Deleted Scene
Stiller’s abusive nursing home orderly weirdly faces absolutely no repercussions in the movie for his repulsive behavior and secret criminal enterprise — this would have been resolved in a deleted scene in which Happy throws the creep off of a balcony, liberating the oppressed seniors.
A Golf Pro Used Happy’s Swing for Real
Pro-golfer Padraig Harrington attempted Happy’s running slapshot-esque swing, which was found to be legal because “you do not have to be standing still over the ball when playing a shot, so striking the ball with a run-up is okay.”
The Legality of the Happy Gilmore Shot Was Ruled on By a Canadian Supreme Court
Another attempt to ape Happy’s style didn’t go so well. A Canadian golfer tried out the move during a bachelor party and hit someone with the ball, who then sued the Sandler wannabe. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, which found the defendant liable because the shot “breaches a duty of care on the golf course.”
It Was Voted Sandler’s Best Movie
Sandler Is Into the Idea of a Sequel
Sandler isn’t opposed to the idea of a Happy Gilmore sequel, telling an interviewer: “Wouldn’t that be fun to do the senior tour of Happy Gilmore, and hang out with all those guys and try to write a great script about Happy as an older guy, and having to calm down his temper and all that stuff?” Sandler had better hurry up though, as Barker is 99 and not getting any younger.
A Giant Alligator on a Florida Golf Course Was Named After Chubbs
A golf course in Palmetto, Florida, was plagued by visits from an abnormally large alligator. The club then asked the public to help name the gator, and they decided on “Chubbs,” after Happy’s mentor, who famously lost his hand to a one-eyed alligator.
Which is a little like naming a honey brand after Macaulay Culkin’s character in My Girl.
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