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Bob Barker Had A Hilarious Stipulation For His Cameo In Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore

Bob Barker's brief but memorable cameo in Adam Sandler's "Happy Gilmore" has a hilarious story behind it. 

The film, which focuses on a down-on-his-luck hockey player (Sandler) pivoting to the world of golf, features brief roles from the likes of Ben Stiller, Will Sasso, and golf icons like Lee Trevino and Mark Lye. Of course, the cameo that most people seem to remember is that of beloved game show host Bob Barker. While he was known for his niceties on "The Price is Right," audiences saw a different side of Barker in "Happy Gilmore."

In the film, Barker, who plays himself, gets into a fistfight with Sandler's titular character during a game of golf. The scene features Barker absolutely losing it on Gilmore, leading to one of the funniest scenes in the entire film. While speaking to CBS in 2013, Barker himself revealed that when he was approached about the cameo, he first asked who would win the on-screen fight. When he was told that he would be the victor, Barker replied, "I'll do the picture."

Barker went on to say that before filming, director Dennis Dugan came to him with assurances that Barker could use a stunt double. But that wasn't what Barker wanted to hear. As he told CBS, "I said, 'Wait a minute ... I know how to fight.' I said, 'I want to do the fight scenes. I want to win the fight.'"

During a 2023 conversation with Collider, Sandler confirmed Barker's account, quoting the game show host as saying, "'If I get to fight, if I get to throw punches, I'm doing it.'" 

And fight he did, with Barker's cameo in "Happy Gilmore" emerging as an instant classic. 

Bob Barker was excited by his Happy Gilmore role

The Bob Barker scene in "Happy Gilmore" is one that has gone on to define both Barker's and Adam Sandler's careers. For "Happy Gilmore" director Dennis Dugan, the scene was conceived as something out-of-left-field, meant to surprise the audience. During a chat with Cracked, the director fondly remembered the "Price is Right" host's enthusiasm for shooting the scene. 

"He was completely game for it, he got the joke," Dugan recalled, adding that "Happy Gilmore" debuted before Sandler became a household name. "But he was totally up for it. Also, he'd studied martial arts as a hobby forever, so, even though he was about 70, he really could kick ass," Dugan added. 

Dugan continued by discussing how Barker was extremely competent as a martial artist, confirming that he "barely even used his stunt double" for the cameo. This shouldn't surprise fans of Barker, as the "Price is Right" personality trained with veteran American martial artist Chuck Norris. In a chat with Dan Patrick, Sandler pointed out how Barker was adamant about winning the "Happy Gilmore" fight because he wanted to show off the moves he learned from Norris. 

Years later, the scene has a legacy of its own and is one of the first things audiences think of when they fondly remember Barker, who died in August 2023. What does Barker think of the scene? In an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the set of "Happy Gilmore," Barker jokingly discussed how the cameo was his "big break" in Hollywood. "I came to Hollywood in 1950 and in 1995, I get my first role in a picture. It took me 45 years to break into movies," Barker said. Hilarious as ever, Barker added that he wanted to be leading action films after "Happy Gilmore."