5 Bits from Adam Sandler’s Comedy Albums Worth a Revisit (That Aren’t the Obvious Ones)
Back in the 1990s when comedy records were still a thing, you could count on an Adam Sandler album almost every other year. Not simply the soundtrack to a televised concert like 2019’s Certified Fresh — we’re talking about comedy audio produced solely for the purpose of putting out a record, from They’re All Going to Laugh at You to What the Hell Happened to Me to What’s Your Name to Stan and Judy’s Kid. The records often featured SNL buddies like David Spade, Tim Meadows, Rob Schneider and Robert Smigel playing along, forgoing stand-up for comedy sketches that were too rude for network television.
‘The Goat’ from ‘What the Hell Happened to Me?’
There’s no more poignant story on any Sandler album than the one about the Goat, a sorry critter tied to the Old Man’s pickup truck with nothing to do except wait for another beating from his drunken owner. Sure, it’s funny hearing Goat trying to convince the local hooligans to untie him for a trip to the reggae festival, but it’s borderline heartbreaking as well.
‘Toll Booth Willie’ from ‘They’re All Going to Laugh at You’
Toll Both Willie isn’t much better off than the Goat, but at least he seems to get what’s coming to him. Even though he makes an effort to play nice with the drivers coming past his booth, he’s soon shouting obscenities when he’s not getting the respect he believes he deserves.
‘Joining the Cult’ from ‘What the Hell Happened to Me?’
Sandler is in Punchdrunk Love mode here, a regular guy with an irrationally volatile temper. He’s trying to convince his buddy to enlist in a cult, a shady religious group that Sandler is desperate to join in order to meet a girl. There are worse reasons.
‘Inner Voice’ from ‘Stan and Judy’s Kid’
The standard Adam Sandler impersonation consists of a series of idiotic gurgles and hiccups, a comedy language that he uses here as his comic inner voice. Sandler the guy at the laundromat is a pretty cool customer as he meets a new lady, but his nonsensical inner monologue gives him away.
‘The Lonesome Kicker’ from ‘What’s Your Name?’
Another of Sandler’s ode to lonely losers, this time a Springsteen-esque ballad about the saddest sack on the football team. His helmet only has one bar, his shoulder pads are tiny, everyone on the team hates him. Did you know they moved the goalposts back to protect the other guys on the team? Sure, sure, take care of them and SCREW THE KICKER. Like many Sandler comedy songs, this one builds from a melancholy refrain to a full-on rocker, but the message remains the same: Being a kicker sucks.