I can still remember the first time I heard Adam Sandler in his post-Saturday Night Live celebrity status. It was Christmas, 1994, and one of my friends had bought his first comedy album, They’re All Gonna Laugh At You. A group of us sat around another one of my friend’s house and popped the CD in, solely for background purposes. But as the album progressed, the lucid high school conversation dwindled, and we were laughing: hysterically, uncontrollably, maniacally. It was the funniest thing I’d ever heard before: crude, raucous, mindless, brutally hilarious. If only Stan and Judy’s Kid, Sandler’s third comedy album, had any semblance of the reckless abandon that his debut did, maybe I wouldn’t have to rant about how miserably awful it is. Not to mention crude, raucous, mindless, and brutally stupid.
Let’s face it though: the man has made a lucrative career out of making millions of adolescent boys and girls spurt milk out of their noses with his “loveable” characters and insipid, immature humor. I was once one of those boys. But with time, the same schtick grows annoying and dull. A case could be made that this nose dive hit Sandler after the success of his first two movies, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, with the odd success and critical panning of the likes of The Waterboy and Big Daddy. And while I spent a good amount of time in the “pro-Sandler” camp, and a reasonable amount in the “give him a chance” camp, now I’m firmly rooted in the “for the love of God deport him” camp. It would take some sort of Truman Show miracle to get back (or attain) any sort of respectability.
So as not to mince words, Stan and Judy’s Kid is atrocious. There are five tracks, themed together and all under two minutes, entitled “Cool Guy” (1-5), whose sole running joke is a guy who scares girls away during pre-foreplay by using odd words for his penis (“pud,” “tallywacker,” “slub-a-dub,” “jimmer-jammer”). He-he. “The Peeper,” which he animated as a skit on the web, is a drab piece about a guy who climbs up in a tree, watches a girl get undressed, masturbates, and gets arrested. How’s that for originality? “Whitey” is 16 minutes (!!) of nonsense about a guy who hangs around the mall a lot. It sounds vaguely like the lamest skit Billy Crystal never wrote for himself. And “Inner Voice” wastes the only clever premise on the album (hearing the main man’s inner voice as he meets a beautiful Hawaiian girl at the laundromat) with childish jibberish and worthless dialogue.
But the comedy bits aren’t the only missteps. His consistent attempts at writing humorous songs has never been more ridiculous. He prefaces “7 Foot Man” by saying that they just wrote it “on the bus the other day.” Really? That’s shocking. You mean to tell me that third grade lyrics, a chimpanzee’s rhyme scheme, and a borrowed bass line (“Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”) about a guy who is so tall (tee-he) he bumps into doorways (tee-he) and ceiling fans (tee-he) and doesn’t play basketball, can be written that quickly? And do we need a “Chanukah Song Part II?” Couldn’t we have thought of other Jewish celebrities and words that rhyme with Chanukah on our own and plugged them in? To his credit, Sandler makes a mild attempt at new terrain (failing at both) with the loungy, Sinatra feel of “Welcome My Son,” about whether or not his son will smoke pot, and “She Comes Home to Me,” the Sandler standard about a girl who’ll “give head to a sheik” and “stuff three cocks in her cheek.” Lovely. Maybe he can work his way into children’s songs.
Adam my boy, I’ve got a small place in my heart and my comic sensibility for you’re first album and your first few movies, but you’re slacking. And this is pure crap.
// Notes from the Road
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