Billy Madison tells the tale of, well, Billy Madison, a young ne’er-do-well skating through life with the help of his rich hotelier father’s money. Billy drinks, parties, and does the dog-poop-on-the-steps gag with his buddies (“He called the shit poop!" "This is the best night of my life!”). But then Billy’s dad (the late great Darren McGavin) announces that he’s turning his company over to Billy’s sworn enemy, Eric (Bradley Whitford). Billy decides that he’s going to go back to school (no, not college) in order to win his father’s approval AND the company. What follows is the special Sandler magic that the actor seems to have lost in recent years.
Today’s scene happens near the end of the film. Billy has entered into a winner-takes-all academic decathalon with Eric to see who gets the company. During a Jeopardy style contest at the end of the decathalon, Billy is asked a question about the Industrial Revolution and recalls a story he heard in his academic journey.
I’ve heard some people say that folks don’t like Sandler’s movies anymore because they’re too juvenile. But, if anything, I think they’re less juvenile, at least, in the good way. This clip is wacky as all hell but it’s still funny. The quiz board categories (“My Spouse Is Sleeping Around”). The host’s response to Billy (actually, watch the host throughout the entire clip - he’s got this sort of hilarious exasperated attitude no matter what’s happening around him). Billy’s reaction to Eric cocking the gun. STEVE BUSCEMI FOR THE WIN. It’s all comedy gold. The zany, irreverent humor found in flicks like Madison just isn't present in Sandler's films today.
So instead of seeing Grown Ups 2 this weekend, put on your old, trusty copy of Billy Madison. Actually, go see Pacific Rim first. Then go home and watch Billy Madison.
P.S. Here's a little extra hilarity from Billy Madison, for those of you that like this sort of thing. You know who you are.