After the improbable success of Billy Madison, which saw Adam Sandler and his old college roommate turned writing partner beating the Hollywood odds by sticking to their guns, the breakout Saturday Night Live star and his pals were given a second shot: Happy Gilmore. Generations of fans have quoted the golf comedy ever since. Here we'll take a look at 10 things you never knew about Happy Gilmore.
The real Happy Gilmore.
There was no pro golf career, Subway endorsement, fistfight with Bob Barker, or romance with a future star of Modern Family, but the character of Happy Gilmore was inspired by one of Adam Sandler's real life friends. Kyle McDonough, an aspiring hockey star who sent the ball flying on the golf course, eventually joined the British Hockey League and spent some time on the ice in Norway. In the Adam Sandler installment of the Celebrities with Heart book series for young readers, McDonough's wife says her husband doesn't have anger issues, but can "hit a golf ball a mile."
Shooter McRobin Hood.
Producers originally approached Kevin Costner for the crucial role of Happy Gilmore villain Shooter McGavin. He made an altogether different golf comedy, Tin Cup, around the same time. According to VH1, Evil Dead franchise star Bruce Campbell lobbied hard for the part, which went to Christopher McDonald.
The real Shooter.
Of course the role of Shooter McGavin is now forever intertwined with McDonald, who'd played Daryl in 1991's Thelma & Louise. McDonald turned down Happy Gilmore - twice - till a meeting with Sandler changed his mind. Like the rest of us, he's been in love with the awesomely awful Shooter McGavin ever since, even starring in a fantastic short mockumentary style video in 2013 poking fun at how much he's now associated with it. In one scene, a caterer hands him a "special" breakfast...
Bob Barker can really fight.
Anyone who grew up watching The Price is Right when Bob Baker held the skinny microphone is well aware of his kindness and compassion, given the advocacy he's done for animals over the years. But just because he's a vegetarian, that doesn't mean he can't handle his beefs. The former Navy fighter pilot earned a black belt in karate back in the day, under none other than Chuck Norris, who he credited with putting him on the path for longevity. He was hesitant about taking the Happy Gilmore part until he learned he'd definitively win the fistfight. He also did his own stunts. It won the duo the first ever MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. In 2015, the pair revisited their "beef" for charity on Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars.
He's hard to recognize under all of that hair, but Otto the homeless caddy was none other than Allen Covert, Sandler's longtime friend and Happy Madison Productions collaborator who played the title role in the cult comedy Grandma's Boy ten years later. Covert's IMDb page is full of Sandler projects, starting with 1989's Going Overboard, followed by Airheads, Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Never Been Kissed, Big Daddy, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, and on, and on...
Bond villain Balance.
Movie fans the world over fondly remember the late Richard Kiel as the James Bond villain turned ally Jaws. The actor, who was more than 7 feet tall, worked mostly in television, including the classic Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man," before his breakout performance opposite Roger Moore in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me. Audiences were so fond of Jaws, he switched from villain to hero in Moonraker two years later. In 1992, he suffered a severe head injury in an auto accident, which threw off his balance. That's why Mr. Larson is often seen leaning on someone or something for support. Happy Gilmore gave him significantly more lines than ever.
Whip it good.
The Happy Gilmore score was composed by the frontman for new wave art rockers Devo, who had huge hits in the early days of MTV with "Whip It" and their cover of The Rolling Stones "Satisfaction." Like Oingo Boingo's Danny Elfman, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh has found tremendous success as a composer, working on kid TV shows like Rugrats, the famous "Get a Mac" commercials, several Wes Anderson films, and more recently, 21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, and one of our favorite scores, Thor: Ragnarok. Almost 20 years after Happy Gilmore, Mothersbaugh composed the music for Adam Sandler's Hotel Transylvania, at the urging of his then young kids.
Happy Gilmore and the pros.
In 2013, a European Tour camera crew convinced several Scottish Open participants to give the Happy Gilmore style drive a shot. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers got into a hilarious fake Twitter fight with the fictitious Shooter McGavin after the NFL star tweeted that he'd be laying off golf to better stay in shape. In 2017, tweeting about his participation in the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic, Steph Curry said his only expectations were to "keep the ball out of the gallery and not go Happy Gilmore." ESPN has marked the fake anniversary of Happy's PGA win. Sadly, golf pro Lee Trevino, who made one of the more memorable cameos, told a crowd at the University of Texas he wished he'd passed on Happy Gilmore. "If I'd known they were going to use all those foul words in there, I never would have done it."
On this date in 1996, Chubbs turned Happy Gilmore into a PGA champion. pic.twitter.com/WrP8SDYnpE— ESPN (@espn) February 16, 2018
Want to pay a visit to the site of the famous Bob Barker brawl? British Columbia's Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, whose 9th hole was the backdrop for the "Price is Wrong" showdown, has fully embraced their association with the Sandler comedy classic. They even went so far as to rename the 325-yard par 4 "Happy's Hole."
As of the time we're putting this list together, the hockey stick golf putter hybrid from Happy Gilmore can be yours. This guy is selling it for a mere $1200.00.