It’s been 22 years since Adam Sandler’s last music/comedy special (HBO’s What The Hell Happened To Me) and from the look of the teaser trailer released by Netflix, 100% Fresh (which will debut on October 23) figures to offer a mix of jokes and songs with a basement-inspired set (though, it looks like Sandler filmed at multiple venues based on the trailer) and a trio of guitars beside a keyboard player on stage.
What’s with the title? Only the Sand-Man knows, but it might be a winking nod to the sometimes harsh critical response that some of his films have endured. It also might also be a promise that the material in the special will be light on classic Sandler songs and bits in favor of fresh stuff.
With that title and the passage of time in mind, it’s fair to wonder what Sandler’s material will look like. Tonally, there’s a clear difference between early Sandler films like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore and newer films like Sandy Wexler and The Week Of.
Is Sandler going to exclusively tap into the silliness and occasional raunch of his earlier work (on screen and on stage) or will there be a touch of tenderness and an acknowledgment of where he is in his life now as a family man thrown into the mix when it comes to the subject matter he covers? Regardless, Sandler has clearly taken a lot of time to craft this. According to Vulture, Sandler has been working on his material for a couple of years, no doubt getting it ready for the moment, in April, when he recorded this new special. And now tell me you’re not picturing Adam Sandler and David Spade doing a Rocky training montage.
Sandler’s new special is the latest jewel in Netflix’s comedy crown following hour-longs by a mix of big-name talents (John Mulaney, Iliza Shlesinger), rising stars (Hannah Gadsby, Hasan Minhaj), and legends who hadn’t done a special in long while (Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sandler’s frequent collaborator, Chris Rock). It’s also a natural progression considering Sandler’s lucrative and lengthy relationship with the streaming giant.
As for the behind-the-scenes stuff, Sandler’s special has a segment directed by There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (who directed Sandler in Punch Drunk Love) but the bulk of it is directed by Steven Brill. This is Brill’s first comedy special but he’s in the middle of a 20+ year career as a director, starting with Heavy Weights in 1995 and expanding up to the Sandler starring Sandy Wexler, Brill’s fourth Sandler-starring vehicle (he also directed Mr. Deeds, Little Nicky, and The Do Over).
Again, Adam Sandler’s 100% Fresh premieres October 23 on Netflix.