Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days (2009 Edition), Day Twenty Six: The Lonesome Kicker by Adam Sandler

I love this song. This is from Sandler's album What's Your Name?; apparently Sandler was suffering from the same feelings of not being treated seriously as a musician that Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest did (see Day Twenty-Two) and came up with a whole load of songs to prove he was. And the funny thing is, a lot of the songs were really good, like the first (and to my knowledge, only) single.

The concept behind the parody element of the song is that it's a grandiose Springsteen song about the trails and tribulations about a downtrodden man....except that Sandler, a diehard pro football fan, has chosen to write this song about the most inconsequential member of a football team (every time I hear this, I think of Mark Schlereth's comments about kickers not being a real member of a football squad). Sandler goes whole hog in the recreation, right down to the saxophone solo bridging us to the end.

But here's the genius part of it. I have always said that the secret to creating an effective parody or satire is to structure it so that if all the comedic elements are removed it will still work as an example of the thing being parodied...and you's true! Take out all the jokes about having very small hands and being a minor league soccer star, and you still get a decent Springsteen knockoff.

To my chagrin, I could not find the really funny video that goes with this song. It's such an effective ape of Springsteen circa Born In The USA that I almost wish Sandler took the same path Al Yankovic took, focusing primarily on his musical parodies rather than making a succession of films featuring rage-filled man-children with annoying voices.

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