Predicting the Next Adam Sandler
By Kipp Tribble Posted Feb 1st 2010 03:00PM
Adam Sandler. Mr. 'Happy Gilmore' and Conan enjoyed a trip down memory lane about their times working together on a little show called 'SNL' where Sandler was a cast member and O'Brien was a writer. Sandler, of course, is one of the most successful former 'SNL'-ers ever, although back in the day, not many people predicted he would ever be a major movie star. So, we thought it would be fun to try and predict the next Adam Sandler - don't call Vegas to place your bets just yet, but these PopEater picks are good possibilities.
Zach has some steam behind him now because of a monster year with the TV series 'Bored To Death' and blockbuster comedy 'The Hangover'. He's been making us laugh with his quirky routines over the years and last year was his year to finally begin his inevitable rise. Like Sandler, he has found a persona that fits him perfectly and we could certainly see him mining this for several more movies before expanding to include dramatic roles.
Derik Wingo, a comedian from New York City, agrees. "I've studied Galifianakis and watched his work for a long time now," Wingo told PopEater. "He's got a lot of range and people don't people give him enough credit for that. Good to see him getting some recognition now." And with eight movies in the works, that recognition will continue.
This is a darkhorse pick. Most people have never heard of him, but he's got the goods to go big time. He also comes from the standup comedy world and has flirted with minor film and TV work over the years. His rise has likely been slowed by his penchant for the raunchier side of comedy and his refusal to dial it back. He also still lives in a small town in Arizona, which makes it hard to attend meetings in Los Angeles or New York City on a regular basis.
All that aside, we think Stanhope has a unique style and -- like Sandler -- brings a self-depreciating spin to some of his work. And that works for mainstream audiences. Holding him back? We call it George Carlin Syndrome. We just don't want Stanhope to wait so late in life to become a legend.
Heffron has been in comedy for many years and was a success on stage by age 25. He keeps sharp by touring, releasing comedy CDs, and working in radio, but hasn't hit his stride in film and TV yet. He was the winner of the second season of 'Last Comic Standing' and almost won the all-star season of the same series. His dry wit is a different brand of funny than Sandler's comedy, but we certainly could see him starring in his own blockbuster films.
"He is someone I could definitely see being in films soon," Wingo said. "He's got one of those faces that can be cast in several different type of roles. And he's funny." Heffron has some projects in the works and one of those just may be his ticket to becoming the next Adam Sandler.
The Roast Master General has been working the stand-up comedy circuit for years now and is an automatic choice for every Comedy Central Roast. "I got into comedy because of the Roasts and watching Jeffrey Ross do his thing," said Pat Davis, a working comedian from Los Angeles. What has left many in the industry scratching their head is why Mr. Ross has not gone on to film and TV success yet.
Watching from this perspective, Ross seems to be a man lacking in the serious work ethic department, but that's likely just his on stage persona and laid back style. And sometimes it's the right-place-at-the-right time factor. We think Ross has the chops to bring his slacker every man to the big screen and dominate like Sandler has. Maybe when Hollywood is casting a movie called 'Roast' things could start rolling for him.
The man has proven himself to be a versatile talent. He's been a successful comedian on the stage and voiced a Pixar movie to huge success ('Ratatouille'). He also pops up frequently in guest starring roles on TV and recently pulled nice reviews as the lead in the indie film 'Big Fan'.
The appeal about Oswalt is his ability to be be acerbic and John Candy lovable at the same time. Something Sandler employed early in his film career. He has been equally good at comedy and quirky drama and his move from supporting guy to a household name could just a matter of time.
This is our top choice to become the next Adam Sandler. He has already starred in his own movie ('Hot Rod') and been in a few others ('Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs', 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist', 'I Love You Man'), in addition to starting out at 'SNL' just like Sandler did.
He brings the same off beat Average Joe appeal that the 'Billy Madison' topliner possesses and also has been able to cut his teeth with the multiple short films he has done for 'SNL' -- something Sandler did not have behind him when he darted off to LaLa Land to become the Prince of Comedy. "I look for him to work on 'SNL' a little longer while making movies during the down times," Wingo said. "Then he'll head for the big time."
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