Sunday, 17 January 2016


Edit 1/19/16: I had bought tickets to Swardson and Friends at Largo the Monday after Sandlercon for Eloy's birthday. We decided to go because we love Nick Swardson, but mostly because we were hoping for an Adam Sandler drop in. Well, I am happy to say the Sandman himself DID drop in and did an incredibly funny, charming, and impressive hour of jokes and songs. It was surreal. I didn't think I could love him more than I already did, but what a downright lovable, talented, genuine, humble guy.

A quality I value most in friends and family is the ability to make lofty plans and follow through with them. 2016 started with the loftiest plan yet - to host a marathon of 20 Adam Sandler movies in a weekend.
This is Sandlercon.

collage by Eloy

While I was in North Carolina this holiday season, I was receiving texts from Eloy and my friends about an idea to host an Adam Sandler convention. We decided we would watch 20 of his movies in chronological order over the course of a weekend. Starting at 10 am on Saturday, January 16th, we would be watching 33 hours of Adam Sandler movies, wrapping up on the evening of Sunday, January 17th. (Yes, we know. There are more Adam Sandler movies. There are 12 more, in fact. 33 hours of Sandler was too much. 50+ hours would have been insanity.)

The finalized list was:

10:00 AM-11:30 AM Airheads
11:30 AM-1:00 PM Billy Madison
1:00 PM-2:30 PM Happy Gilmore
2:30 PM-4:00 PM The Wedding Singer
4:00 PM-5:30 PM The Waterboy
5:30 PM-7:00 PM Big Daddy
7:00 PM-8:30 PM Little Nicky
8:30 PM-10:00 PM Punch-Drunk Love
10:00 PM-11:30 PM Mr. Deeds
11:30 PM-12:45 AM Eight Crazy Nights

12:45 AM-3:00 AM Spanglish
3:00 AM-4:40 AM 50 First Dates
4:40 AM-6:30 AM Click
6:30 AM-9:00 AM I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
9:00 AM-11:00 AM You Don't Mess With The Zohan
11:00 AM-12:40 AM Grown Ups
12:40 AM-2:10 PM Jack And Jill
2:10 PM-4:10 PM That's My Boy
4:10 PM-5:50 PM Grown Ups 2
5:50 PM-7:50 PM Blended

Our friends Nicole and Avalon just moved into a new place in Highland Park, and Nicole just acquired a new projector for Hanukkah, so they decided to throw Sandlercon at their new place. There was a Facebook event page where everyone could share plans and info in the weeks leading up to Sandlercon. Our friend Faye took a poll to see how many of us would be willing to get an Adam Sandler related tattoo. Eloy started planning a Sandler inspired menu and took a headcount of everyone who would be partaking in the 5 course meal. Nicole and Sophia stayed late at work to make a Sandlercon step and repeat and programs with the schedule of movies on the back of Adam Sandler's head. Avalon and Nicole stayed up late drawing Sandart, and Eloy and I gathered ingredients for dinner and necessities like extra toiler paper and bottled water.

While Sandlercon was underway, anytime someone left to re-enter the outside world, they would text asking what we needed before returning (thanks for the garbage bags, Jake.) We even had a sponsor - Town Pizza - who donated two pizzas to our cause. Thank you, Town. An inspiring amount of teamwork went into making Sandlercon happen, and I am so proud to call these people my friends.

Eloy and I went over to Avalon and Nicole's on Sandlercon Eve to make sure everything was in working order and to help set up. We used a mix of Netflix, DVDs, and downloads to thumb drives for the movies (thank you Eloy). We tested the projector and speakers to make sure everything worked. We also took stock of what was already at their house and made a list of things we'd need to bring from our house to ensure Sandlercon ran smoothly and comfortably: an extra coffee pot, stools and chairs, blankets and pillows, a vacuum.

Avalon and Nicole used projected images to make decorations and colored them in with Mr. Sketch markers.

I had the idea to put Adam Sandler's head on popsicle sticks with a schedule of events. Nicole executed it.

Eloy and I bought posterboard to have a running list of movies that we could cross off as we went.

Avalon picked up the letters to make the official Sandlercon banner and some Waterboy colored streamers from Vine American Party Store. We wanted to liven up the space in which we'd be spending the next two days.

 testing the projector with episodes of It's Always Sunny in Phildelphia

Eloy and I went home, too excited to sleep, and tried to get some rest before the start of Sandlercon.

On Saturday, January 16th at 10 o'clock in the morning, we toasted with Martinelli's sparkling cider to
Adam Sandler and Happy Madison.

In the Facebook event invite, we made it clear that cosplay was encouraged. Some people really delivered. Eloy came as Billy Madison. I was Danny McGrath from Billy Madison.

 Airheads for Airheads

We took turns crossing off the movies as we went.
I had the honor of crossing off Billy Madison and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Kelly came through with original Sandlercon t-shirts and her Mama inspired snack -
Louisiana Frog (cup)Cakes!
shirts by Kelly, step and repeat by Sophia

Colleen Green on the Sandlercon pink carpet
Nicole Snyder on the Sandlercon pink carpet
Steph on the pink carpet
Jake Fogelnest on the pink carpet
Eloy on the pink carpet
Sean and Erin on the pink carpet

 "Talk about a hooole in one!"

We had a couple costume changes...

When Eloy told our friend Jill about Sandlercon, we mentioned wanting to order pizza as part of the menu as a tribute to Mr. Deeds. She hooked us up with our first and only sponsor - Town Pizza.
They had a very cute delivery boy.

He just turned one, making him the youngest attendee of Sandlercon. Not only that, but he'd never seen a movie before, thus making The Waterboy at Sandlercon his first movie.

transfixed by Bobby Boucher

Sophia arrived in costume as Robbie Hart from the Wedding Singer.

 P.S. I'm Horny

Side note: at some point after this photo was taken, Avalon was just hanging out in a bra and complaining that it was cold. Just needed to commit that to written word.

Faye arrived sometime around Big Daddy with her tattoo machine.
Eloy, Erin, and Avalon all got Rirruto tattoos.

Dinner was served at 6 pm during Big Daddy. On the menu was...
1st Course:
Meatball, served without utensils

2nd Course:
Waffle and Spam Sliders, syrup for dipping

3rd Course:
Extra Sloppy Sloppy Joe Sliders, w/ cheddar cheese, onions
and potato sticks

4th Course:
Popeye's Chicken, served w/ 30 packets of ketchup

Deeds’ Pizza, cheese or pepperoni

5th Course:
Snack Pack, w/ crushed cookies

Three piece cheesecake

True story: When I was a kid and my mom would make meatballs, I'd always eat at least one or two out of my bare hands because of the Wedding Singer.

 "Popeye's chicken is fuckin' awesome."

 "Put out your hands!"

 50 first dates

Little Nicky

 "Have some more sloppy joes. I made them extra sloppy for yas."

 Deeds' Pizza

 "Snak Pak! You're the coolest!"

We had blown up balloons to scatter on the floor and at some point someone picked up a sharpie and wrote a quote on a balloon. We kept doing it any time there was a standout quote in a movie. We ran outta balloons pretty quickly, so I started taping them to the walls.

Before we started I had ideas of how it would go - I wasn't going to sleep until after Eight Crazy Nights (and only if I absolutely needed to), and I was going to eat well except for the 5 course dinner. I wasn't going to drink, and I was going to do calisthenics to stay alert/counteract all the sitting around. As soon as Sandlercon was underway though, I knew I'd have to rethink my strategy. There was no energy to be spared on squats, and Airheads had some much needed sugar to counteract the boredom and lethargy that comes with watching 20 movies.

The tone shift when Punch Drunk Love started was unsettling. After 11 hours of goofy jokes, the tension and headiness of a Paul Thomas Anderson movie felt like a fever dream. It was not an easy adjustment. That's when I knew there was no way I was gonna make it to Eight Crazy Nights. I fought to keep my eyes open during Mr. Deeds and found myself in Nicole's bed before it ended. I don't know if it was the Popeye's, the beers, the chest cold I've been evading, or the fact that I woke up at 6 am that day, but I crashed out hard from Deeds through Eight Crazy Nights, Spanglish, 50 First Dates, and Click. I woke up intermittently and listened for what movie they were on. I listened to a lot of musical numbers from Eight Crazy Nights, pretty sure I was out cold during all of Spanglish and 50 First Dates, and I started to stir when I heard Nicole crying at Click and Eloy laughing at her.

 Nicole crying during Click

At some point during the night, Chris Thayer showed up. I know this because I vaguely remember him coming in to the room to say hello and also I found this photo:

I got up around 6 am feeling refreshed and found my Sandlercon peers taking a breather on the porch before starting I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. They were in rough shape. I was the only one who had slept at that point, except for Kelly, who was passed out across the hall in Avalon's bed.

My cheery disposition was not readily welcomed by Nicole, but I think it was a good thing that I was there to breathe some new life into Sandlercon. I got up in time to order some McDonald's breakfast with everyone (a sausage McMuffin for Big Daddy). I showered while I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry played and wondered if the neighbors in the other half of the duplex were going to murder us all before the end of Sandlercon.

 "Sausage McMuffin"

The sun rises over day two of Sandlercon.

I made up my own Chuck and Larry cosplay when I decided to drink a morning beer through a straw..

By 11 am, Kelly couldn't take anymore. She had done around 24 hours of Sandlercon and hit a wall.
She went home to sleep.
Another fallen soldier.

Doug showed up in his Click visor.

After 15 movies, we hit our first technical difficulty. The file for Grown Ups was corrupted and we had no DVD, nor could we find it on any streaming app. We all decided we needed to just skip it and move on to Jack and Jill.

gadgetguy, Nicole Snyder


I slept through Grown Ups 2 on the floor in front of the projector and woke up in time for Blended, which felt eternal. Allie showed up literally as it ended with cookies she baked, just in time to take a group photo of whoever was left at the end.

Sandlercon Heroine

Eloy is the only one who literally did not fall asleep at any point during Sandlercon. He is in a deep, deep slumber right now at my feet. We're already discussing what to do next. Whatever it may be, we all agree 20 movies was way too many. Til the next con...



Sandlercon MVPS: Nicole Snyder, Avalon Willows, Eloy Lugo, Sophia Goldfarb, Faye Orlove, Town Pizza, Colleen Green, Kelly Contessa, Natalie James, Sean O'Connor, Erin O'Connor, and Jake Fogelnest

Honorable mentions: all of our Postmates drivers, Levi Young, Allen Covert, and all the wonderful people all over the world who followed #sandlercon2k16. You inspire US.

Most Loved Character: Jill of Jack and Jill

Most Hated Character: Anyone in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Surprise Hits: Little Nicky, You Don't Mess With the Zohan

Surprise Flops: Airheads, Eight Crazy Nights

Most Emotional: Click

High Point: Bowie singalong in Mr. Deeds

Low Point: Spanglish

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