Cajun Man. Opera Man. Pedro. These and other sketch comedy characters created for NBC’s Saturday Night Live rocketed Adam Sandler to fame. But in an attempt to parlay his small-screen popularity into superstardom, this recent SNL alumnus has graduated to films and albums of particularly poor taste.
Last spring, Adam Sandler assaulted sensibilities in his first big-screen role as Billy Madison, a rude, mean-spirited, sexually obsessed, alcoholic slacker. Whether belting down daiquiris or racing to the mailbox on “nudie magazine day,” Sandler’s Madison fluctuates between muttering puerile gibberish and erupting into vicious outbursts. Add profanity, homosexual references, flaming bags of manure and a study session where Billy’s shapely tutor rewards his correct responses by taking off her clothes. Bad news. Worse yet, the majority of the movie’s cast is made up of young children.
Now Sandler is at it again in Happy Gilmore. This time, he’s a violent, profane, skirt-chasing hockey player trying to earn money as a golf pro. Prone to fits of rage, the former slapshot artist prides himself on being “the first guy ever to take off his skate and try to stab somebody.” Zero self-control. And he’s supposed to be the film’s hero. Gilmore is sexually promiscuous and generally abusive—verbally and physically.
Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore both communicate the following messages: “Self-destructive and anti-social behavior is good for a laugh,” and “the jerk gets the girl.” Not a healthy model for young viewers. But Adam Sandler’s films are just the beginning.
Sandler recently released a follow-up to his raunchy comedy CD They’re All Gonna Laugh at You (more than 500,000 sold). It’s called What the H— Happened to Me? What are fans getting? It kicks off with a piece about joining a religious cult whose leaders urge converts to kill their parents. Other profanity-strewn bits involve a flatulent hypnotist, gay sex, rape, and a mother encouraging her children to masturbate.
This Top-20 album also includes seven songs. The reggae parody “Ode to My Car” is nothing more than profane griping over a useless automobile. Other tracks celebrate drug use, including “Mr. Bake-O,” the title cut, and “The Chanukah Song,” which ends with the lyric, “So drink your gin and tonicah and smoke your marijuanikah.” Sandler’s cocky attitude, aggressive self-centeredness and twentysomething rage come through most bluntly on “Steve Polychronopolous,” a hateful tune proudly enumerating vindictive and embarrassing acts the comedian plans to inflict on the listener.
The last line on the new album states, “I’m outta my gourd. Won’t somebody please help me? I’m kind of a weirdo.” A cry for help? Possibly, but it also serves as a warning for families to avoid Sandler’s vulgar, anti-social comedy altogether.