By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
Sometime in 1989: Sandler lands first starring role in a movie, playing stand-up comedian Shecky Moskowitz in Going Overboard. Movie is released straight to Betamax.
September 1991: Sandler joins cast of Saturday Night Liveas featured player; later, he becomes a regular, alongside David Spade, Chris Farley and Rob Schneider. America tunes in...to watch Phil Hartman.
1994: Sandler stars alongside Brendan Fraser in Airheads, which makes $5.37 million.
1995-1999: Sandler stars in and, in most cases, co-writes and/or co-produces Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Bulletproof, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboyand Big Daddy, which make a combined $490.6 million at the box office. He also produces Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, starring Schneider, which costs $18 million and makes $65 million, despite small fact Schneider is as watchable as bunny-rabbit vivisection.
November 5, 2000: The Los Angeles Timesreports that "Michael DeLuca, head of production at New Line, says Little Nicky can do for Sandler 'what Ghostbusters did for Bill Murray,' meaning vault him into another stratosphere of box office stardom."
November 12, 2000: Little Nicky--produced by, co-written by and starring Sandler, as the son of Satan--opens on 2,910 screens nationwide and makes $16 million its opening weekend.
December 25, 2000:Little Nicky, now playing in only 151 theaters, pockets $46,006. Happy Hanukkah.
December 31, 2000; 11:53 p.m.: Adam Sandler attends a New Year's party at the home of David Spade. In attendance are Christopher Walken, Rosanna Arquette, Kid Rock, Fred Ward, Dennis Miller, Malcolm in the Middle's Dewey (10-year-old star Erik Per Sullivan), former SNLhead writer Fred Wolf, TRLhost Carson Daly, TV director Dennie Gordon, and Kevin Farley, who insists on being called "Lil' Chris." Drunk on peppermint schnapps, Sandler calls Amy Pascal, Columbia Pictures chairwoman, and insists he can "shit out a movie within 24 hours" and have it make "craploads of wicked crazy cash," despite the fact it will star Spade. Pascal, in the middle of a schvitzwith Bette Midler and Howard Stern, approves multimillion-dollar budget.
January 1, 2001; 1:15 a.m.: Wolf and Spade begin writing script for Joe Dirt, about a white-trash, mullet-wig-wearing orphan searching for his parents, who abandoned him during a trip to the Grand Canyon. Sandler, who will produce, suggests adding a scene in which a young Joe Dirt lights a cow's farts on fire.
January 1, 2001; 1:17 a.m.: Wolf and Spade complete script. Sandler approves, but adds scene in which a dog's testicles are frozen to front porch of shotgun shack. During script read-through, Miller compares Joe Dirtto the works of George S. Kaufman and Oscar Wilde "if they had their cerebellums removed with a pair of tweezers by a spastic Joey Mengele." Sandler, who has no idea what he means, agrees.
January 1, 2001; 5:18 a.m.: Filming commences on Joe Dirt. Spade calls Brittany Daniel--star of his "all-time favorite television show," Sweet Valley High--and begs her to play Joe Dirt's would-be girlfriend Brandy. Daniel agrees, but only if Spade signs contract in which he agrees "not to fondle, grope or touch Daniel in any way, shape or form." All kissing scenes will be handled by stunt double.
January 1, 2001; 6:49 a.m.: Walken begins having doubts about appearing in movie. He asks Sandler if Joe Dirt's a comedy or drama or "whatnot." Sandler replies that it doesn't make any difference, then reminds Walken of pictures he has of actor "doin' that thing with that thing." Walken agrees to be in Joe Dirt, as a school janitor who's really a mobster in the Federal Witness Relocation Program, but only if he doesn't appear until the movie's nearly over.
January 1, 2001; 4:32 p.m.:Rosanna Arquette, who penned all her dialogue as a woman working at a gator farm, likewise decides to pull out of project; she suggests sister Patricia, "who will appear in anything on a bet." Spade threatens to tell tabloids of drunken night together in 1996; she begrudgingly relents.
January 1, 2001; 6:15 p.m.: Joe Dirtgoes into post-production. Spade and Sandler insist movie is "just as good" as Deuce Bigalowand Norm MacDonald's Dirty Work. Miller, reminding duo of work in Bordello of Bloodand on Monday Night Football, suggests "more of me, even though people find me as likable as Bill Clinton at a cigar shop." At last minute, Spade and Wolf add wraparound footage of Miller as Los Angeles disc jockey interviewing Joe Dirt about life story.
January 1, 2001; 6:17 p.m.: Miller's scenes are written, shot and wrapped. Now, Sandler feels movie is "just as good" as his own Waterboy. "It's wicked awesome," he suggests to Pascal in phone call. Pascal, giving Joe Roth a massage, agrees, though she's yet to see movie.
January 1, 2001: 10:43 p.m.: Joe Dirtis edited and mixed, complete with soundtrack of '70s super-hits. Columbia Pictures decides to release movie on April 13. "Good Friday, my ass," Sandler tells Pascal, and they laugh all the way to the bank.
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