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Adam Sandler’s Comedy Legacy Defined by Imitation

Adam Sandler (Via Adam Sandler/Twitter)

Adam Sandler’s comedy career is built on a foundation of respect and imitation. He has consistently paid homage to the comedians who have influenced him and the classic comedies that have come before him, weaving nods to their work into his own films. This reverence is evident in his early work, which bears a striking resemblance to the comedies of Rodney Dangerfield and Harold Ramis.

Dangerfield’s style, in particular, had a profound impact on Sandler’s early work. His 1995 film Billy Madison is a clear nod to Dangerfield’s comedy, with its main character going on a series of wacky misadventures to prove himself worthy of inheriting his father’s hotel empire. The film’s premise and tone are reminiscent of Dangerfield’s own comedies, and Sandler’s character, Happy Gilmore, bears a strong resemblance to those found in Harold Ramis’s Caddyshack. In fact, Happy Gilmore features a cameo by Dangerfield himself, solidifying the connection between the two comedians.

Adam Sandler (Via Adam Sandler/Twitter)

Sandler’s admiration for Ramis and his work is also evident in his films. The character of Carl Spackler, played by Bill Murray in Caddyshack, is a clear prototype for Sandler’s own offbeat characters, such as Hubie Dubois and Little Nicky. This love of 20th-century comedy is not limited to his own films, however. Sandler has been vocal about his admiration for the grandfathers of comedy, including silent film star Harold Lloyd. In 2000, Sandler even found himself in a spot of trouble when the grandchild of Harold Lloyd sued the distributors of The Waterboy, claiming that the film’s plot bore a striking resemblance to Lloyd’s 1925 silent comedy The Freshman.

Despite his critics, Sandler continues to push the boundaries of comedy, often incorporating nods to classic comedies into his films. His Netflix original films, such as Sandy Wexler, demonstrate his willingness to experiment and take risks, even if they don’t always pay off. Sandler’s sincerity and respect for the comedy pantheon, as well as his willingness to poke fun at himself and his naysayers, have made him a beloved figure in the comedy world. He has consistently shown a deep appreciation for the comedians who have come before him and has paid homage to their work in his own films, solidifying his place as one of the most beloved comedians of our time.

Arjun Patel
Written By

Arjun Patel is a passionate movie and TV show enthusiast who loves to write about his favorite films and series. With a steadfast commitment to the world of entertainment, Patel provides insightful reviews, engaging show breakdowns, and vibrant content to movie and TV show fans. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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