Spoilers are ahead for Hubie Halloween!
From Billy Madison to this weekend’s new Netflix release Hubie Halloween, Adam Sandler has been making comedies with his co-writer, Tim Herlihy, for 25 years. It’s a worthy milestone to pay homage to and, in the very first scene of the spooky-themed movie, longtime fans spotted the first of many references to other Adam Sandler flicks. In the opener, Ben Stiller’s Hal L. for Happy Gilmore returns.
In 1996’s Happy Gilmore, Ben Stiller played the memorable role of the handlebar-mustached orderly who runs the nursing home where Happy must leave his grandmother when she loses her home. He acts sweet in front of Sandler’s character but, once he’s looking the other way, he’s unjustly mean to the elderly. Adam Sandler recently spoke about he got Stiller to reprise the role:
He’s a good friend of mine, I love him and our families are friends. We talked about it and knew we’d have a good time doing that.
Ben Stiller’s return to Hal L. was especially surprising since the actor has not appeared in a movie in three years due to shifting his focus to producing and directing. But as Sandler told Yahoo! Entertainment, the two comedians are great friends, so it wasn’t tough to make the cameo happen. Check out the side-by-side below:
Stiller’s daughter, Ella Olivia Stiller, is also in the film as a coffee barista. A lot of Sandler’s friends are a part of Hubie Halloween and have found roles in a number of his comedies throughout his career. Along with Ben Stiller, Rob Schneider, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James and Maya Rudolph are in the new Netflix comedy. After starring with Sandler back in the day as Virginia Venit in Happy Gilmore, Julie Bowen plays Violet Valentine here as well.
Adam Sandler kind of created the “cinematic universe” before Marvel... and 24 years after Hal L. terrorized Adam Sandler’s grandma in the nursing home, he is an orderly in a psychiatric hospital where Rob Schneider and Steve Buscemi’s patient roommates broke out of. Makes sense that Hal L. might have had to shuffle a job or two over the years given how he treats people.
The short callback to Adam Sandler’s early career certainly reminds us of a time when all our favorite comedians would share wacky roles in one another’s films like Hubie Halloween. Stiller has moved to more dramatic work recently with his directorial work on the crime-drama Escape to Dannemora, and Sandler was recently in one of his highest-acclaimed films to date, the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems.
Hubie Halloween is a fun return to form for the comedic actors. The movie has Adam Sandler playing a character named Hubie Dubois, who protects the citizens of Salem on Halloween night. Check out CinemaBlend’s interview with the Hubie Halloween cast and check out our review.