If there’s one thing that human beings are good at, it’s storytelling. For centuries, people have been crafting narratives around life’s most important events, epic or mundane. Even ancient Greeks were putting on plays that had different tones. Of course, “Greek tragedy” is a term we still use today to describe something so melodramatic that it’s almost fantastical (it’s also a great song by The Wombats). But Greeks created stories that were the product of the greatest narrative math problem ever, too: tragedy + time = comedy.
Of course, comedy has had many different voices throughout time, and things that are funny to some generations would never be funny to their predecessors (and vice versa). For example, when SNL came back under Lorne Michaels’s control in the mid-80s, he stacked the cast with the kinds of comedians who were funny but sophisticated, outrageous but witty. So when the 1990 season started with a crop of new cast members who were young and silly, a big tonal departure from the Comeback Crew of the late eighties, it threw the show into a bit of a tailspin. “Saturday Night Dead” headlines rang out in the trades, and quite a few of the boys who’d been thrust into the national spotlight were fired from the show. And one of those boys, if you can believe it, is the subject of this week’s tournament.
Adam Sandler has done plenty well for himself since being fired from Saturday Night Live. He’s been in high demand for the better part of three decades, and with his latest Netflix deal, some estimate that his worth may have actually doubled. But we’re not here to talk about how rich Adam Sandler is (though we do mention it a couple of times in the episode). No, we’re here to ask you a typically impossible question. On this week’s episode of The Tournament Podcast, we’re asking you: Which Adam Sandler movie is the best Adam Sandler movie?
This is a thirty-two seeder, folks. Of course, Sandler has been in more movies than that, but these are movies he stars in, and even some of those didn’t make the cut. And while we’re both fans of America’s goofiest comedian, we needed to call in a Sandler expert, someone who used to cosplay as Happy Gilmore in elementary school (his words, not ours). That’s why this week, we’re joined by our very special guest John Del Viscio from the Adam Slander podcast, which was recently nominated for best podcast in The Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2021 awards.
Will a classic like Billy Madison take home the prize? Or will a more recent tour de force like Uncut Gems (a.k.a. Uncut Jaaaaaaaamz) be crowned the winner? And where does Grown Ups fit into all of this? Only you can tell us, and you can do that by voting here all week long.
Check out the episode to hear our predictions!!
Opening Round Voting: Monday 3/7, Tuesday 3/8
Sweet Sixteen Voting: Wednesday 3/9
Elite Eight Voting: Thursday 3/10
Final Four Voting: Friday 3/11
Championship Voting: Saturday 3/12