Nov. 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM ET
"Jack and Jill," Adam Sandler's new film in which he plays both a man and his twin sister, is getting ravaged by critics. "Even by sloppy Sandler movie standards, this one’s a wreck — fart jokes, potty zingers and pit-stain gags," writes Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. The Hollywood Reporter review calls it "witless and sloppily constructed."
Yeah. So I won't be seeing that one. But I still think Sandler's a smart, likable and funny comic, in the right sketch or movie. So I'm going to put "Jack and Jill" out of my mind and think of Adam Sandler the singer instead.
1. "Lunch Lady Land"
Here's the thing about Sandler's comic songs. They're both hilarious and sweet, and musically well-written. Sandler's song about the day that cafeteria food takes revenge on a hairnetted, mole-bedecked lunch lady (Chris Farley, of course) is just perfect. And it switches tempos amazingly well, from a rat-a-tat-tat humor piece to an almost sweet ballad, and switches right back. Hoagies and grinders, hoagies and grinders...
2. "The Lonesome Kicker"
This might be the best sports song ever. In "The Lonesome Kicker," like in Peter, Paul and Mary's "Right Field," Sandler takes up for the most-derided position on a sports team. Even his coach doesn't know who the heck he is: "But I kick that ball, and I pray it goes straight, and if it does, the coach says 'Good job, number 8." And there's an amazing amount of football knowledge crammed in here too. "Another blocked kick! And everybody blames me! But it was the left guard, who didn't pick up his man!" Listen to this just once, and you'll find yourself humming it the next time your favorite team's kicker shanks one. Oh, good job, number 8.
3. "The Hanukkah Song"
Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," listing famous Jews who celebrate the holiday, is a seasonal classic. "Guess who eats together at the Carnegie Deli? Bowser from 'Sha-Na-Na' and Arthur Fonzarelli!" Also, who knew so many words rhymed with "Hanukkah," even "marijuanica"? His "Thanksgiving Song" is also an awesome tune for a holiday that isn't often musically remembered. "A turkey for me, a turkey for you! Let's eat turkey in a big brown shoe!"
4. Anything from "The Wedding Singer"
It's no news to anyone that I'm a 1980s freak. Sandler's 1998 movie "The Wedding Singer" got the era's details right and managed to weave a touching and funny story about wedding singer Robbie (Sandler) and his love for sweet waitress Julia (Drew Barrymore). Hey, somebody get some pants on that kid!
5. "A Song about Elmo"
"Sesame Streeters" may not be Sandler's regular audience, but why not? He's just a big kid himself. So his visit to the street's little red monster teaches kids about rhyming with Sandler's own childlike charm. Best line: "At night he takes a bubble bath, just so he won't Smellmo."
What's Sandler's best song? Tell us in the comments.