Sam Strange Remembers: FUNNY PEOPLE

The legendary Hollywood producer recalls the time he made a trilogy of films about the sad lives of comedians.

The one thing a lot of people don’t know about stand up comedians is that they aren’t very funny off-stage. In fact, most of them aren’t that funny on-stage either. The only place where a stand up comedian can really be funny is at a Roast. Those things are hilarious.

The problem is that most stand up comedians were abused as children, so they all become extremely fucked up adults who fight the world by making fun of it. This isn’t something they’re capable of just turning off like pedophilia. Comedians are stuck with themselves, and the world is just as stuck with them.

I dipped in this well once before. An earlier film, Comedian, was all about this really nitpicky, slightly inhuman older comedian who attempts to tell us how awesome he is by picking a random newcomer from obscurity and then standing next to him as the young buck repeatedly makes himself look stupid, thus engorgng the older comedian’s image while dooming the other guy to professional infamy.

Comedian wasn’t a huge hit, I think, because it didn’t get deep enough into the sad life comedians live. So I decided to remake and expand it with a trilogy of films called Funny People. It was also a flop. It seems you can’t make money off films made exclusively for stand up comedians. Who knew?

Funny People is about an older stand up comedian named Adam Sandler. This guy’s stand up seems to revolve around funny voices and small penis jokes. He’s super rich because he quit stand up for a career making really shitty films. We see many clips from these films in Funny People. There’s one where he’s a baby with an adult head called Redo. There’s one where he’s a mermaid, called Merman. There’s one he did with Tracy Jordan called Black Cop, White Cop. There’s one where he plays a violent man-child who falls in love called Punch Drunk Love. And there’s another where he plays a crazy dentist who lost his family to 9-11 and deals with it by listening to The Who. It’s called Reign of Fire.

Adam Sandler has no friends or loved ones because he’s a huge asshole who alienates everyone around him. The plot kicks into gear when Sandler finds out he’s going to die soon, and he’s all alone. He has Hollywood buddies, but they’re all too jealous of his success to really like him. And they all have too much personal integrity for Sandler’s brand of abusive friendship anyway. What Sandler needs is a pathetic little bitch.

Enter Ira Weiner. Ira is a young, struggling comedian with a heart of gold. He has two roommates. One is an attractive, semi-successful television actor, and the other is a fat guy. Ira has all the makings of a fat guy himself, but according to the fat guy, he lost all of his fat guy fat before this film began. It’s a curious detail because he doesn’t seem to have the vanity or drive be a “dramatically lose weight” kind of guy. Plus, if there’s one job where it’s okay to be fat, it’s stand up comedy. On the other hand, by the end of the film, the other fat guy has lost all his weight, too. Furthermore, there’s this really goofy looking comedian named Ben Stiller and he can bench press 400lbs.

Ira is just so excited to work with the man whose comedy he grew up on that he never bats an eye at Sandler’s weird duties which include:

1. Sitting next to Sandler and talking to him while he goes to sleep.

2. Letting Sandler call him a Fucking Retard every time he tries to do something nice.

3. Letting Sandler talk about his penis 1,700 times per day.

4. Going on stage before Sandler so Sandler will artificially look better.

5. Changing Sandler’s diaper.

6. Chewing Sandler’s food like a mama bird.

7. Helping Sandler ruin a family.

8. Giving up that ass.

As Sandler’s dependency on Ira grows, so does their friendship, which means Sandler treats Ira even more like shit. Meanwhile, Ira falls in love with perhaps the most unfriendly girl God ever shat out, and, despite her pretense to hipster intellectualism, she totally sleeps with his slimy Hollywood roommate. When we first met Ira, his extreme kindness seemed incongruous with stand up comedy. But now we see he is just addicted to abuse. He’s a stand up comedian after all.

So Funny People 1 is all about Adam Sandler and Ira. Funny People 2 is all about Ira’s roommates and his girl crush. We’re four hours into the story now, so I guess it’s time to introduce some plot.

Funny People 3 begins with Adam Sandler finding out that he isn’t sick anymore. With his life back, he decides its time to reconnect with the lost love of his life. This happens all the time on Facebook. Most of us turn back once we realize our lost love is a multiple mother and her boobs touch her knees. Unluckily for Sandler, his lost love is still hot as shit.

So Sandler and Ira go spend a weekend with Sandler’s lost love and her two kids. Sandler totally thinks he can steal her from her family, but Ira’s not so sure he can, and even if he can, he shouldn’t. Sandler, of course, responds by calling Ira a Fucking Retard repeatedly and making him play with the kids because he already hates them.

Sandler’s lost love is pretty strange. She feeds his hope by complaining about her Australian husband’s infidelity. Then she has sex with Sandler. She loves her kids, then lets them hangout with the guy who’s cuckolding their father. She also lets the dog lick peanut butter off her face.

There’s something weird about how funny she thinks Sandler’s constant barrage of dick and vagina jokes are, like his crudeness is completely normal and charming. There’s a really good reason for this, though.

See, I want to be remembered as a feminist filmmaker, so I made a bunch of films where strong ladies kick ass and kill people. But feminists complained that these were not actually female characters, just male characters played by women. That stung, more so because they were right. So with Funny People, I did the same thing but without all the violence. Now females in my films are male characters played by women, but they don’t kill anybody. Everyone’s happy.

Anyway, Sandler’s bubble gets popped when the husband comes home and he’s played by Eric Bana. Ira gets his ass kicked but finds revenge later when he recreates the fight with Ira as Bana and Ira losing on purpose and Ira giving up that ass. Then he fires Ira.

So just to summarize, this whole movie was about Adam Sandler learning lessons. Except he doesn’t learn any lessons. His awakened awareness leads him to reclaim the lost love of his life. Except she ultimately rejects him for her flawed, but relatively decent husband. At least he learns that he has a real friend in Ira. No, wait, he fires Ira. I guess it’s just a movie about a dickhead being a dickhead and learning to keep at it. I’d like to tell you that he at least kills himself, but I don’t remember filming that.

As for Ira, he gets the girl, and his friends forgive him. Except his friends are all selfish assholes. And his girlfriend will never live up to her glasses and haircut.

Looking back now, I already forget why I made these films. I think I was using it as an excuse to hangout with funny people professionally. Man, that was a bad idea. I had a better time making Jesus Camp.

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