Stop Looking At Me, Swan

I love Adam Sandler. I do. Honestly. Do I think his last ten movies have been terrible? Of course. Do I hate him for what he is doing to the film and comedy industries, and that he is single handedly destroying all creativity in hollywood? Again, the answer is yes. But the plain and simple fact is that there is a lot of great Sandler stuff out there, and what there is of it is all gold. The two greatest Sandler films, two of the best comedy films period, are Billy Madison and Big Daddy. They also happened to have been two of my favourite movies as a kid, the kind that I would watch every goddamn Saturday for a year, on very worn VHS tapes. And they still are two of my favourite comedy movies of all time. And growing up with these movies, one of the interesting things was slowly realizing what all the dirty jokes that I didn’t get as a kid actually meant. When I was a kid there were a lot of jokes in these movies that made absolutely no sense to me, and I’ve spent the last seven years of puberty slowly checking jokes off that list. And by the time I was about fourteen, I got every joke in the two movies.

Except for one. There’s a seen in Billy Madison, near the beginning, when he comes home super drunk and has to take a bath. He’s sitting in the tub, and he’s playing with the shampoo and conditioner, making them fight each other. (“shampoo is betta, I go on first and clean the hair” “conditiona is betta, I leave the hair silky and smooth”) Classic Sandler. But then he drops the hair products, turn to face his right side, and yells “Stop looking at me, Swan!”, before turning back to us with a dumb, vacant grin on his face. When I was a kid, I would actually quote this line a lot, just because it sounded funny. But it never quite made sense to me. What exactly was the joke there? Is he pretending that somebody is watching him take a bath? But then why does he call them a swan? Maybe he says “swine”, but that only makes slightly more sense, and it really does sound like swan. Maybe there is someone there, like his maid or something, and he’s calling her a swan. But why? That’s not a thing you call someone. Maybe someone on set has the last name swan, and it’s like a fourth wall joke? I checked on imdb, it’s not the director or any of the producers, but maybe it was like a grip or something? That seems more like a behind the scenes clip, though, I don’t think they would leave that in the movie. Maybe he’s imagining a giant swan, just like he imagined the penguin. But we never see the swan. And the penguin returns several times, but we never see any other imaginary animals. The rest of the movie sort of makes it seem as though the penguin is his only drunk hallucination animal.

I don’t get it! All the other movies I’ve seen, all the culture I’ve been made aware of since I was a kid, and I still don’t get this one single joke in Billy Fucking Madison! It’s literally driving me insane. So I’m left with two options: I can go out into the world in search of the answer to this age old question, or I can except the fact that it’s just Adam Sandler being silly and there really is no meaning. The first one seems like a lot of work, so I don’t want to do that. But I hate letting stuff go. So I decided to just make as many people as possible aware of this joke, and see if any of them know what it means. Please help me.



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