Warning: Hubie Halloween spoilers ahead!
There are about 423 bold-faced names (give or take) who turn up in Hubie Halloween, Adam Sandler’s giddy new Netflix horror-comedy, including Julie Bowen, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, June Squibb, George Wallace, Shaquille O’Neal and who’s who of Saturday Night Live cast members.
One of the biggest cameos, though, was kept under wraps until the Hubie’s premiere earlier this week. In the film’s opening sequence, Ben Stiller reprises his role of the malicious orderly Hal L. from Sandler’s 1996 favorite Happy Gilmore. The appearance is all the more surprising given Stiller hasn’t acted in a film since 2017’s Brad’s Status.
“He’s a good friend of mine, I love him and our families are friends,” Sandler told us (watch above), noting Ben’s daughter, Ella Olivia Stiller, also acts in Hubie as a coffee barista. “We talked about it and knew we’d have a good time doing that.”
Hal L.’s return is one of many references to past Sandler comedies. There’s the main character’s full name, Hubie Dubois, which is a nod to the actor’s Cajun footballer Bobby Boucher in The Waterboy (1998). There’s his love interest, Violet Valentine (Bowen), a callback to Sandler’s ’90s trend to give his romantic interests double-V initials, from Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras in 1995’s Billy Madison) to Virginia Venit (also Bowen in Happy Gilmore) to Vicki Vallencourt (Fauriza Baulk in The Waterboy) to Valerie Veran (Patricia Arquette in 2000’s Little Nicky).
There’s a bully named Andy O’Doyle, a crimson-haired kid who’s clearly a descendant of the O’Doyle ruffians of “O’Doyle Rules!” fame in Billy Madison. There’s a flying bag of dog poop, another shout-out to that Sandler breakout comedy.
The raft of Easter eggs raises the question: Do all of Sandler’s movies take place in the same universe? Has he just created a Sandlerverse?
“It just happens that we run out of stuff to talk about so just bring that s**t back from 1961,” Sandler says.
If Hal L. and the O’Doyle family also exist in Hubie Halloween, that means so could Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Bobby Boucher and the rest of Sandler’s gamut of goofballs. Could they someday all come together, Avengers-style?
“I’d like that, I just gotta get mentally prepared for that,” Sandler cracks dryly. “So that’ll probably happen in another 35 years. We’re gonna get to that.”
Hubie Halloween is now streaming on Netflix.
Watch Adam Sandler talk about balancing comedy and drama:
-Video produced by Jen Kucsak
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: