Eulogy for the Genius of Adam Sandler
Theaters are still recovering from the release of Blended, the latest comedic phlebotomy from the demon that has taken possession of Adam Sandler. I haven't seen Blended because I don't own a hazmat suit, so how do I know it isn't secretly hilarious beneath its dumb surface, like Billy Madison was? Because I get my news from 20 years in the future, obviously. And Sandler repudiated the film himself, as you can read in his obituary.
The New New York Times-Feed
Adam Sandler, 67, Changed the Face of Comedy
May 32, 2034
REQUIEM FOR A GENIUS
Adam Richard Sandler, who was once the most successful comedic star in the world, died of a heart attack yesterday while trying to make his poops.
Sandler's body was found on the toilet by a beautiful maid he could never be with. Although clearly distraught in a sexy way, she described his death as "His funniest work to date." It was a fitting end for the actor, who played scatologically doomed losers to the point that they overshadowed both his career and his life. Eventually his filmography collapsed into the schlockiest of remakes, crossovers, and sequels.
Probably the only monster they couldn't make funny.
Born September 9, 1966, to Stanley and Judy Sandler, the plucky lad showed comedic talent as a toddler when he would soil his diapers. Hilarity was his destiny, and as an actor he began crapping his pants on The Cosby Show, MTV's Remote Control, and Saturday Night Live. The poop was edited out of the shows' broadcasts, but Sandler still felt that there was a place for his unique brand of humor. Alas, like Icarus, he dared to fly too close to the sun, only for it to melt the taffy-like shit that stuck his wings together.
You probably didn't know he was Ash from Pokemon in his youth.
No man was ever lonelier than this comedic genius, beloved by all and understood by none. It wasn't till late in life that critics began to perceive his subtle, scathing satire of America's sense of humor. Among the criticisms against him:
For much of the 21st century, critics felt Sandler had abandoned his drive to succeed. Indeed, after a strong start with well-crafted dumb comedies, he produced 95 percent of Hollywood's comedy shitpile.
Whereas Billy Madison was about a spoiled brat determined to grow up and Happy Gilmore was about a good guy trying to save his grandma's house while conquering his rage, Grown Ups was about a guy who must choose between a weekend with his buddies at a lake house and a trip to Milan to support his wife, Salma Hayek -- which, come on, isn't even a decision. Paid millions to film his vacations, Sandler had entered a new period in his career.
When you factor in all the time saved by not writing scripts, it's really like two vacations.
In retrospect, the film's premise that women's professional lives aren't as important as men peeing on each other is brilliantly satiric. By even positing that there was a choice to be made, Sandler skewered sexist -- and indeed savage -- early 21st century attitudes. It's difficult for us to look back now and realize that people accepted such a ludicrous juxtaposition as serious, but remember that human brains back then lacked both a metacortex and a LogicPure Syntho-Afferent Cognitive System(TM).
At the time, audiences perceived the film as merely another directionless Sandler comedy, so idiotic that it could cause heart defects in unborn children. But with Grown Ups, Sandler had upended the "vomedy" genre (pioneered by Sex and the City and perfected by Entourage) of awful people making their outrageous adventures boring.
Nowhere was this better proven than in Grown Ups 4: Movin' 2 Da Streetz (tag line: It's ON now!), when the actor unzips his fly (exposing a comically misshapen penis), sneers into the camera, "This is what you want, America, you cheap slut?" and urinates on the lens for an impressive 110 seconds. If one didn't know how subversive this humor was, one could easily mistake it for a man too rich to make an effort.
Like all great creators, Sandler worked with his preferred stable of talent, but at times their light was diminished in the glare of his achievements. As such, colleagues like Rob Schneider came off as talentless hacks with an undeserved sense of their own ability.
That douche was an anti-vaxxer, so, historically speaking: Fuck him in the face with the smallpox-infected arm of a dead baby.
Perhaps the best example of this was director Dennis Dugan, whom Sandler once pledged never to quit on, "No matter how wretched and insensate our films become." Their partnership concluded in 2017 with a trilogy of feature films set in Bora Bora that featured Sandler rubbing Vaseline on a bound and gagged Alice Eve's ears.
Critics praised Eve's "startlingly realistic" terror, but theaters rejected the avant-garde comedy for a scene in which Sandler accidentally crucifies a gay couple. These days, of course, all citizens can use the Overmind to view the film through Sandler's eyes and see its nuanced genius. Eve's character is all of us, and the comedian is our species' history of genocide.
Dugan died of septic shock in 2019 after being bitten by a child with a potty mouth. Sandler was devastated by the loss, refusing to speak in a high-pitched voice or take a slapstick shot to the nuts for an entire year.
A Confederacy of Dunces (2028)
Sandler's first book adaptation moved the picaresque novel from New Orleans to Aruba while merging most of the book's eclectic characters into a stoner played by Kevin Nealon. The bulk of the film is simply Sandler singing "The Hot Dog Song" through a perpetual belch. Keen-eyed viewers can spot the Waterboy in several scenes, urinating on important cultural artifacts.
As proven in the comedy(?) Click, time is more valuable than money. After achieving financial success, the legendary comedian never wasted time devising a funny script or compelling characters. It was far cheaper to swallow the costs of filming a major motion picture without chewing, since they would recoup themselves regardless. Defenders argued that lots of people like lazy comedies, so what was the harm? Apart from all the children that money could have fed.
The nadir of his ambition was when he teamed up with Guy Fieri to create a Grown Ups-themed chili. If ever there was a dinner recipe lazy enough to be worthy of the Grown Ups theme, it is chili. Chili is what happens when a cow falls asleep in an onion patch on the hottest day of the year. Like the Grown Ups series itself, it is enjoyed best if one simply leaves the room and lets it stew in its own juices for four hours. Both will end in a massive pile of crap.
But Sandler was not a man to rest on his chili bowl. Recognizing the flaw, he poured himself into 2021's RoboChubby Turns a Lesbian. No film before or since had ever realized such a profound vision of a slob, his dumpy sidekick, and a legitimate actress slumming because Hollywood wouldn't give her a starring feature.
A turning point.
Blended 2: This Is the Remix was cobbled together from 80 percent deleted scenes from its predecessor. However, in fairness to Sandler, he was unable to film more, since, while vacationing/filming in Africa the second time, he was attacked by a cheetah who had seen That's My Boy. Frequent Sandler collaborator Rob Schneider was never seen again, possibly because no one ever looked for him. On a more positive note, two members of the Black Eyed Peas died in the attack.
Satire seeks to illustrate the sacred by profaning it, and Sandler's craftsmanship in this frequently drew charges of obscenity. The turning point was in 2022, when his dominatrix died of exhaustion after 27 straight hours of intense flogging. Police found the actor bound and blindfolded in his basement with battery cables clamped to his nipples. Despite suffering four days of dehydration, he begged officers on the scene to "Slap me, spit on me, anything to just, please, God, feel some pathos, ANYTHING!"
Following that brush with death, the funnyman gave away his fortune and wandered the Earth. Eventually, frozen, lost, hungry, and bewildered, he found his way to a comedic monastery in the Himalayas. There, he was taken in by the Laughing Monks and taught the Iron Ha-Ho style that would define his renaissance.
Pictured: rock bottom.
Upon his return, Sandler shocked audiences with Jack and Jill 5: Jack It Like It's Jilly, a dark comedy that opens with the revelation that Jill only exists in Jack's fractured psyche.
Complicating matters is her love triangle with shadowy figures that only Jack can see: a 6-foot rabbit and the ghost of Jimmy Stewart.
A furious Stewart insists that Jack is just a character, and if he wants to heal his psyche, he must admit he doesn't exist any more than they do. Next, he should acknowledge that he is an actor named Adam Sandler and apologize for the remake of Mr. Deeds.
Having realized that family is the most important thing, Jack becomes a little too close to Jill. Sandler, of course, was commenting on the relationship between a film's commercial and artistic interests, but the symbolism was lost on the average viewer, as in the scene below:
JILL, putting tuna fish and peanut butter on a sandwich.
You're actually going to eat that?
It's delicious! [farts] Oooh, I got a little gaaaaas!
P.U.! [farts] Now I made a P.U.!
Jack lights a cigar with the Magna Carta and high-fives the CHILD, who will one day sink into a SPIRAL OF DRUGS AND DEPRESSION typical of child actors.
KATIE HOLMES, being A GOOD WIFE who is HOT and probably has a name.
She eyes something off screen with a glint of desperation.
A STRAIGHT RAZOR, unattended on the counter.
(whispers almost inaudibly)
Jack, shaking his head as Jill dances HILARIOUSLY to Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back." She farts near the tea kettle, sending a jet of flame to the flammable CURTAINS.
That's ... [looks at camera] NO BUENO!
We're twins. You already share half my DNA. Could anything we do truly be wrong?
They kiss, passionately. Katie Holmes protests, but is dragged out of the room by STRANGE MEN IN BLUE SHIRTS. In her place, JAR JAR BINKS enters the room and starts moonwalking. He high-fives Jill.
AMERICA, seen from space, burning.
It's about family.
The film's many levels of metacriticism proved too obtuse for audiences, but critics lauded the courtroom scene where Judge Jill's face melts off to reveal the stony gaze of Happy Gilmore before Sandler is sentenced to death for crimes against nature, only to escape to freedom under a new identity.
The intensely personal work was his first commercial failure, but he iterated in interviews that "It was my poop-smeared salvation."
Grown Ups 3: Blood, Blood, Everywhere
The gang is up to their old tricks when they rent a villa in Madrid, only to discover a murderer is in their midst. The infamous three-minute "dog eyeball icepick scene" was famously pulled during the theatrical run, but restored for the director's cut. Sandler said on the disc commentary that he fell asleep every night watching the scene.
The writer-director-star met his second wife, actress Sandy Sanderson-Sandler, while filming this movie, when she was cast as "The Dog Owner With an Empty Jar of Peanut Butter but the Dog Has Rabies." Audiences adored the scene in which Sandler's Lenny Feder contracts rabies of the dick and Kevin James must inject his penis with 21 vaccination shots. David Spade pulls double duty roles as both Marcus Higgins and Maria Santacruz de la Ignacion y las Grandes Tetas, Hayek's half-sister, who awkwardly attempts to give Schneider a rim job in front of the children.
On the plus side, Kate Hudson didn't make any movies this year.
Chuck and Larry Remarry
Chuck and Larry must reunite when Chuck wants a child but New York's restrictive laws say that only homosexuals are allowed to adopt. David Spade plays their Chinese baby, Long Hung Dong, who is only 4 months old but can speak pidgin English and loves to cook "flied lice." The racism implicit here was both subverted and upheld when Sandler happily crunched down on a bowl of flies and lice. An endearing entry, but a difficult one to watch, as its opening credits are a three-minute panoramic shot of Chinese foothills littered with discarded babies.
The Third Pole
Sandler's unemployed ice fisherman Karl Smiley must impress Amy Adams or something before the ice thaws by winning a fishing contest or else rich people will build underwater condos in the lake, I don't even fucking know. This was his last collaboration with David Spade, playing Rastus, the ghost of a slave who drowned while swimming to freedom. Kevin James also appears as a talking bear who kills five sexy hikers (all played by Sandler in drag doing the same voice for each).
Original title: The Familymoonpole
Shot in a single night on Super 8, a disguised Sandler wanders LA's Skid Row talking in his baby voice and provokes people into fights by shitting on their shoes. At the end of the film, the number of people who take a swing at him is tallied against the number who say "Aw, sorry, buddy, I didn't realize." Critics praised the actor's commitment to the experiment, including taking seven stab wounds to the belly.
Grown Ups 5: Face Fuck Mash
Written by Sandler and directed by Lars von Trier, this "Kafkaesque gasp for help from the maw of madness" reunites the gang when Sandler's Lenny Feder wakes to find himself part of the mysterious Experiment 12. After strangling a glassy-eyed child with her own intestines for a sip of water, Feder tears through the walls imprisoning him, only to find that it's all being conducted by the mysterious Dr. Reldnas, who is a splinter of Feder's personality. David Spade's corpse cameos as the body of Marcus Higgins and reappears later in heavy makeup playing "Kris Roq," a talented comedian trapped in the room with Feder. Critics still dispute exactly what happens during the film's finale, a 7.5-minute sequence in which the camera is knocked to the ground, and all we hear are muffled sounds of a struggle, followed by the sound of someone being devoured alive as a voice chants in Latin.
Chuck and Larry: The Omega Ultimatum
Now that robots and humans are legally allowed to marry, Chuck and Larry admit that they're just big, flaming gaybags for each other and shouldn't have to hide that to be happy.
In an interview last year at the Omegacron Honors, Sandler reflected on a career spent enriching the lives of others with laughter:
"After my dominatrix died, I sat down to cheer myself up with some light fare, a family-friendly comedy. It turned out I was watching Blended, a film I was apparently in. Seeing an amazing actress like Drew Barrymore, who's been used by the system since day one, only to cobble herself back together ... seeing a talent like that sleepwalk through this job, the meaninglessness of it all really hits you like a faceful of French onion soup.
"That was when I realized that a man of my means -- a legitimately funny comedian who could realize any vision, no matter how far-fetched -- can you imagine if I had actually wasted my once-per-generation chance to pursue my talent and craft? What a stain that would be on my very existence?
"Look, crap has always existed. It's fine to not be good at something. It's even OK to be good at something and still be unentertaining. But what is this pervasive culture of being able to do something well and deliberately dialing it down to the blandest possible incarnation? The Ke$has and Guy Fieris of this world, the Adam Sandlers. We're all going to die. TRY TO DO SOMETHING BEFORE YOU DIE!
"I'm not talking about the people who try and suck -- your Pitbulls of the world, who were always going to be affably mediocre. I'm talking about people with real ability and awareness who instead elect to autotune their work, pour donkey sauce on it, and otherwise piss in the pool and call it a day. If you have legitimate ability, you don't get to carpet bomb your success with the easiest option to assail the senses. You owe it to everyone who took the time to help you learn your craft to stand the fuck up and MAKE SOMETHING.
"No. Goddamn. Shortcuts."
Sandler leaves the world a duller, drier place. The world shall not laugh through a mouthful of Doritos upon his like again.
Recommended reading: Is Hollywood lazy? Unthinkable! But if it weren't, we'd never have Coming Soon to a Theater Near You (Unfortunately) and An Anti-Protest Letter to NBC About Your Latest Cancellation.