Singing Adam Sandler Is the Best Adam Sandler

He just wrote a dope tune about Elmo for the fiftieth anniversary of “Sesame Street,” and he has a long history of songs before that. 

In celebration of Sesame Street’s fiftieth anniversary, Adam Sandler tweeted a video of himself composing a song for the little red guy with a tickle fetish (Elmo). Truth be told, nothing rhymes with “Elmo”—but Sandler makes due with words like “smellmo” and “fellmo,” and the muppet is duly impressed.

A lot of people are snide about Sandler, due to the myriad bad movies he’s starred in. But here at FLOOD, we stan. We believe that in his best performances—Punch-Drunk Love, The Wedding Singer, Funny People, The Meyerowitz Stories—Sandler is sensitive and sad and wholly human. Comedians tend to excel in dramas, as all that humor and manic energy often bubbles up from a dark and lonely place.

Sandler has made something of a habit out of singing in films, and his voice is thin and silly and endearing. When Adam sings, it’s like a little kid comes out. Not the obnoxious, potty-humored kid from his worst-impulse comedies or rom-coms—the kind of kid who looks at the world with goofy wonder and a shy expression.

“Grow Old With You,” the love song Adam serenades Drew Barrymore with at the in-flight conclusion of The Wedding Singer, is lovely and I can’t watch it without crying. The bitter cover of “Love Stinks” he does at a wedding reception, too, is grade-A, top-choice. But the song that I relate to most, on a powerful, fundamental level, is “Somebody Kill Me,” the breakup anthem Sandler screams at Drew earlier in the movie. Half the song, you see, was written pre-breakup, and the second half was written after his fiancé Linda dumped his ass. So it’s a little uneven. His face contorted in agony, Sandler belts out “I’m on my knees / Pretty pretty please, kill me / I want to die / Put a bullet in my heaaaaad” and it’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever seen.

The best part? Drew’s character likes the song. She’s sympathetic. She claps. That’s soulmate material.

Drew and Adam teamed up again on 50 First Dates, a movie in which Drew suffers from short-term memory impairment following a car accident. She only remembers things that happened pre-crash—and she meets Adam post-crash. So after he falls for her, he has to woo her anew every day, reintroducing himself. It’s a pretty exhausting prospect, making someone love you again and again and again—frankly, the premise is absurd—but it doesn’t matter, because it’s also romantic.

In this scene, Adam plays Drew a ukulele ditty called “Forgetful Lucy” that he wrote about their star-crossed relationship, hitting delicate high notes while wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt. It’s a little dirty, and a lot of sweet.

A final favorite Sandler song comes from Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, which came out on Netflix last year. Sandler plays the father to a teen girl who is heading off to college, but before she leaves they sit down at a piano together and sing a duet they’ve clearly sung many times before. Sandler’s character wrote it about their three-person family unit: “There’s always you / And there’s always me / And there’s always us / Mommy and daddy and Genius Girl make three.”

They banter back and forth a little as they harmonize and it’s a magical scene, one that showcases what Sandler is capable of when he allows himself to be calm and quiet.

If you want more, go check out the consummate ranking of Sandler songs Noisey did a few years back.


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