One of the most memorable scenes in Adam Sandler‘s 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore comes when Bob Barker, playing himself, mercilessly beats up Sandler’s titular character at a celebrity golf tournament.
Bob Barker Performed ‘Happy Gilmore’ Stunts Himself
Barker, who was in his early 70s at the time, had been assured by the movie’s director, Dennis Dugan, that a stunt double would do the punching in the famous scene, but that plan was quickly changed.
“I said, ‘What do you mean you have a double?’ I said, ‘I know how to fight,'” Barker recalled to CNN in 2013. “He said, ‘All right, all right, you can fight.’ So he let me fight.”
The scene was so memorable that it earned an MTV movie award for Best Fight and also got more young people watching The Price Is Right, which Barker hosted. Decades on from his cameo in the film, Barker still relished his role. “It was a delight to beat up Adam,” he told HuffPost in 2013.
Watch Bob Barker and Adam Sandler’s Fight Scene in ‘Happy Gilmore’
When Barker died at the age of 99 in August 2023, Sandler shared a touching tribute on his social media, including photos of the two of them over the years. “The man. The myth. The best,” he wrote. “Such a sweet funny guy to hang out with. Loved talking to him. Loved laughing with him. Loved him kicking the crap out of me. He will be missed by everyone I know! Heartbreaking day. Love to Bob always and his family! Thanks for all you gave us!”
Round Two…and Three
For a 2014 episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, Barker reprised his role by fighting with a character called Wyatt Spencer (played by Darin Brooks).
“I thought it was a wonderful idea because Happy Gilmore is still playing on television frequently and everybody loved that fight scene,” Barker said at the time . “For Bold and Beautiful to be so bold as to copy, more or less, is wonderful!”
Watch Bob Barker in ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’
Then, in 2015, Sandler and Barker reenacted their iconic fight for the Comedy Central Night of Too Many Stars, a fundraiser for autism charities. This time, Sandler, wearing a Boston Bruins hockey jersey like his character wore in Happy Gilmore, sat by Barker’s hospital bedside. “As you’ve probably guessed, Bob Barker and I haven’t spoken with each other in many years,” Sandler joked at the beginning of the scene. Before long, insults are traded and a fight breaks out that eventually leads to both of them dying from Ebola.
Barker was always appreciative of Sandler’s encouraging attitude. “One of the nicest things I ever heard in show business was Bob Barker saying, ‘I moved to Hollywood to be an actor and the only person who ever let me do it was Adam Sandler!'” Rob Schneider, another Saturday Night Live alum, wrote on social media in 2023 following Barker’s death.
Watch Bob Barker and Adam Sandler’s 2015 Fight Scene