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Settling some scores

Sandler says, Happy 'Chanukah'

November 03, 2002|Jon Burlingame

"The Chanukah Song" returns in "Eight Crazy Nights," Adam Sandler's animated holiday musical.

Sandler, who parlayed a few seasons on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" into a major film career, incorporates a third version of his radio hit into the film. "The Chanukah Song" originated on "SNL" in 1994 but achieved wide popularity when Sandler included it on his 1996 album "What the Hell Happened to Me?," which spent 100 weeks on the Billboard charts .

Nobody was going to mistake Sandler or his co-writers for Cole Porter. Repetitive guitar licks, bad rhyming schemes ("put on your yarmulke, here comes Chanukah") and Sandler's annoying delivery, however, didn't keep listeners from laughing at Sandler's laundry list of Jewish celebrities who -- theoretically, at least -- celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Sandler updated the tune with a new version on his 1999 album "Stan and Judy's Kid," and did so again in "Eight Crazy Nights." Brooks Arthur, the veteran music producer who co-wrote and co-produced the film, declined to talk about it, citing his relationship with Sandler (who doesn't do print interviews).

The popularity of "The Chanukah Song" made Sandler one of a few comedians with novelty song hits about being Jewish, notably Allan Sherman (whose "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" went to No. 2 in 1963). And Sandler's immense following among those who like their comedy crude and raw may ensure a new life for the tune when "Eight Crazy Nights" opens Nov. 27.

-- Jon Burlingame

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