Growing up my friends and I always talked about our favorite movies and often dissected the reasons for the awesomeness, which seems pretty advanced looking back at it. It was early in my freshmen year of high school during a golf team practice (grueling stuff) when one of my friends proclaimed that Happy Gilmore was great because of the casting. We all agreed at the time, as these were usually supportive conversations as opposed to arguments. But over the years I’ve realized this was EXACTLY why this movie was and remains to be so great. The casting of the main characters is obviously extremely important to any motion picture, but it was the casting of the lesser roles that has really caught my eye over the years. I’ve highlighted some of these actors and roles below for your convenience. There is no doubt that even switching out one of these characters would have changed the landscape of the scene(s) they were a part of (if not the entire movie).
Will Sasso as “Mover”
This role came only a year before Will (credited on Happy Gilmore as William Sasso) joined MADtv and stood out on what I consider a terrible TV show. When the mover challenges Happy to a long drive competition during the eviction move, the mover’s golf swing is the worst swing out there (save Charles Barkley). Why would he think he could out drive anyone? How did he even hit the ball that short swinging as hard as he did? However, his swing isn’t too comically awful to seem fake as his size probably prevents a normal swing anyways. It’s great physical comedy. He also has one of the most quoted lines of the movie “You hit that guy!” and very few remember he was the one that delivered it.
Lee Trevino as Himself
When I recently rewatched this movie on cable someone mistook Lee Trevino for ChiChi Rodriguez and that’s what makes this casting great. Trevino was a very good golfer but not recognizable by the demographic this movie aimed it’s sights on. Recently, Trevino mentioned that he regrets doing the movie because of all the “foul words” but Happy Gilmore made him relevant to a whole new audience. Do I really think that Trevino wouldn’t do this movie again if given the chance? Yeah, and Grizzly Adams had a beard. Also, before #SMH came to the forefront of abbreviated online chatter he showed us how it’s done.
The “Happy The Gold Jacket’s Yours Shooter’s Gonna Choke Guy”
I couldn’t find the person who played this character but given how terribly this line is delivered I am assuming it was someone who was helping with the production. What makes this casting great was how terribly this line was delivered (which you could also attribute to directing but still). It’s rushed awkward yet so easily repeated. It’s one of my favorite lines in the movie!
Helena Yea as “Chinese Lady”
“Hey? You no want breakfast” wouldn’t exist if Helena hadn’t nailed that simple line so well. Perfectly executed button to the entire apartment scene.
“Parachute Pants Body Builder Guy”
He is just an extra that chases down Shooter after he steals Happy’s gold jacket but he is the perfect last fan to see at the tournament. He shows the blue collar nature of Happy Gilmore’s fan base, the goofy attire of the time period, and since he’s jacked you feel confident in knowing that Shooter got his ass kicked by him (and Mr. Larson of course). Also, the way that the actor runs is weirdly fun to watch.
There are so many great minor roles with the perfect person playing in each of them. Feel free to add to this list below in the comments section!
Post by Colin H – firstname.lastname@example.org