September 13, 2019

Episode 154 - BILLY MADISON


The schoolyard bell signals the end of our Summer of Sandler, as we head back to class with the comedy that launched the Sandman to stardom: Billy Madison. And while we struggle to remember the year of the Spanish Armada, so much of Adam Sandler's buffoonery remains firmly entrenched in our minds. But beyond debating the merits of shampoo versus conditioner, this episode inspires us to relive our own school years, when we too dreamed of our crushes, annoyed our bus drivers, and peed our pants. (It's the coolest!)

Daren Sprawls brings his teacher voice back to the pod as we finish our seasonal salute to Adam Sandler. Listen closely, and you may discover that somewhere in this rambling, incoherent episode, we approach something that resembles a rational thought. May God have mercy on our souls.


Billy Madison (1995)
Directed by Tamra Davis
Produced by Robert Simonds
Written by Adam Sandler and Tim Herlihy
Starring Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Larry Hankin, Darren McGavin, Josh Mostel, Chris Farley, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Downey

August 23, 2019

Episode 153 - PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE


Channeling his gift for comedic rage into a bracing and wonderfully odd character study, Adam Sandler reached his acting pinnacle in Punch-Drunk Love. It's a film that observes Sandler's onscreen persona through a distorted lens, and the Kafkaesque world created by writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson serves as the deconstructed version of a typical Happy Madison comedy. It's the Sandman as we've never seen before--and likely will never see again.

The Summer of Sandler is swerving into auteur territory, so put on your critical studies cap for an episode rich with theories, analyses, and meaningful lens flares.


Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Produced by JoAnn Sellar, Daniel Lupi, and Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Luis Guzman, Robert Smigel, and Philip Seymour Hoffman

August 9, 2019

Episode 152 - ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE


Years before "adult" became a verb, Rocko's Modern Life tried to warn us what was in store outside the bubble of childhood. Younger viewers tuning in to laugh at funny talking animals were surreptitiously served a reality check in tidy 10-minute segments. The cartoon's surreal slapstick punctured the perceived glamour of the grown-up world, while also taking aim at the excesses and absurdities of...well, modern life.

Jake Beal returns in this episode of Conglom-O proportions, as we raise Heck in our raucous appreciation of a Nicktoon that was well ahead of its time. This'll be a hoot!


Rocko's Modern Life (1993-1996)
Created by Joe Murray

Episodes featured in this podcast:

"To Heck and Back" (aired 10/10/93)
"Rocko's Happy Sack" (aired 11/21/93)
"Kiss Me, I'm Foreign" (aired 12/4/94)
"Wacky Delly" (aired 1/26/96)
"Zanzibar" (aired 4/21/96)
"Closet Clown" (aired 7/16/96)

July 26, 2019

Episode 151 - LITTLE NICKY


The lesson of Little Nicky: even the Sandman has limits. This big budget, high-concept comedy busted Adam Sandler's streak of box office success, and the legacy of this daring and wildly unsuccessful risk helped define the boundaries of a comfort zone he's inhabited in the years since (with a few notable exceptions).

The Summer of Sandler takes a detour on the highway to hell as we find the good, the bad, and the butt-ugly in this bewildering story of a bashful Beezlebub. We deserve this!

Little Nicky (2000)
Directed by Steven Brill
Produced by Jack Giarraputo and Robert Simonds
Written by Tim Herlihy, Adam Sandler, and Steven Brill
Starring Adam Sandler, Harvey Keitel, Patricia Arquette, Reese Witherspoon, Rhys Ifans, Thomas "Tiny" Lister Jr., Robert Smigel, Kevin Nealon, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran, and Rodney Dangerfield

July 18, 2019

Episode 150 - THE LION KING


From the day we arrived on this podcast, we've done our best to honor the spirit of the pop culture we enjoyed as kids. Even after five years and 150 episodes of heroic overthinking and nostalgia-fueled biases, we're still realizing there is more to see than could ever be seen through our younger eyes, and The Lion King is certainly no exception. It is arguably the alpha of contemporary Disney animation: an artistic and technological landmark that audiences continue to find in its lofty place along the unwinding path of cinema history.

It's the perfect subject for this milestone episode, which includes a look back at some of the other topics that moved us through despair and hope, while you--our wonderful listeners--sustained us with your faith and love. We're psyched to keep digging into the past, often ending up back where we started in a journey that's often wistful and joyous and bittersweet, almost as if we were traversing some kind of life-giving sphere. Remember who you are, and soak in our anniversary celebration!


The Lion King (1994)
Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Produced by Don Hahn
Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton
Starring Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Moira Kelly, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Madge Sinclair, and James Earl Jones

July 4, 2019

Episode 149 - THE PATRIOT


Some nations have oral histories that tell the story of their ancient origins. Others have sprawling cosmologies that explain how each part of their culture was forged. In the United States of America, we frame our founding myth as a three-hour Hollywood war epic directed by a German and starring two Australians.

On this special crossover episode, the hosts of the Lieography podcast--John Parton, Ace Cordova, and Joanna Phillips--join us to take a comprehensive look at the historical basis of The Patriot. With the help of their meticulous and illuminating research, we grade the movie's factual accuracy (or lack thereof) and celebrate our freedom as Americans to fudge the details. Happy 4th of July!


The Patriot (2000)
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Produced by Dean Devlin, Mark Gordon, and Gary Levinsohn
Written by Robert Rodat
Starring Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, Tchéky Karyo, René Auberjonois, Lisa Brenner, Donal Logue, Leon Rippy, Adam Baldwin, and Tom Wilkinson

June 28, 2019

Episode 148 - THE WATERBOY


Calling all sentimental goofballs and easily agitated man-children! The Summer of Sandler is upon us, and our celebration kicks off with a look back at The Waterboy. Focused on a sweet-natured hero who taps into an unexpected reservoir of rage, this silly sports comedy echoes the yin-yang appeal of its star, whose comedic creations often boast the capacity to delight and disturb in equal measure.

Our season-long tribute is just getting started, so unless something's wrong with your medulla oblongata, come spend your summer with the Sandman and nourish yourself with some high-quality WWWW! You can do it!


The Waterboy (1998)
Directed by Frank Coraci
Produced by Jack Giarraputo and Robert Simonds
Written by Tim Herlihy and Adam Sandler
Starring Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, Henry Winkler, Fairuza Balk, Jerry Reed, Larry Gilliard Jr., Blake Clark, Peter Dante, Jonathan Loughran, and Rob Schneider