Adam Sandler returns to Netflix this week with Hubie Halloween. The new screwball comedy stars Sandler as Hubie Dubois, a kind and simple soul — "the nicest guy in town" — who's always dedicated himself to making sure his friends and neighbors enjoy a safe and responsible Halloween. This year, Hubie will have his work cut out for him as he works to save his hometown of Salem from a most monstrous fate.
As with most Adam Sandler movies, Hubie Halloween is jam-packed with familiar names and faces, including appearances from current Saturday Night Live cast members Mikey Day and Melissa Villasenor, comedians Colin Quinn, Kym Whitley, and George Wallace, and Sandler's frequent co-star Ben Stiller. As for the major roles in the film, it's a mix of longtime Sandler regulars plus a few interesting newcomers:
Adam Sandler co-wrote and starred in his first film, the comedy Going Overboard, in 1989. The next year, he was hired for Saturday Night Live, where he joined the show's fraternity of young talent, along with Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and David Spade. In 1999, he formed his production company Happy Madison, and began producing his own films like Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds, along with films for his friends, including Joe Dirt, Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. In 2014, Sandler signed a deal with Netflix to make four films for the streaming platform (that deal was re-upped for four additional movies in 2017 and again in 2020). His first Netflix film was the western comedy The Ridiculous 6; most recently, he and Jennifer Aniston starred in Murder Mystery. Last year, Sandler received critical raves for his performance in the non-Happy Madison film Uncut Gems.
Returning to the Adam Sandler Cinematic Universe for the first time since she played his love interest in 1996's Happy Gilmore is Julie Bowen. The Emmy-winning star of Modern Family, Bowen's been a presence on multiple TV series. She was one of the primary characters on the NBC comedy Ed, she played Jack Shephard's ex-wife Sarah on Lost, and she sexed the heck out of Silas Botwin in Weeds. She also played Kevin Spacey's wife in Horrible Bosses. In Hubie Halloween, she plays Hubie's character's crush, Violet Valentine.
Kevin James will forever be King of Queens. After successfully parlaying a guest appearance on Everybody Loves Raymond into nine seasons playing Leah Remini's albatross of a husband, the former stand-up comedian starred alongside Will Smith in the 2005 movie Hitch and then in a whole bunch of Adam Sandler-related properties. These included everything from a bit part in 50 First Dates to a voice performance in Hotel Transylvania to Happy Madison-produced projects like Paul Blart: Mall Cop, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Here Comes the Boom. A bearded James will play Officer Steve Downing, antagonist to poor Hubie.
Steve Buscemi has been acting in films and TV shows since the mid-'80s. He's won four SAG awards (for Boardwalk Empire), two Independent Spirit Awards (for Reservoir Dogs and Ghost World), and an Emmy for his AOL talk series Park Bench with Steve Buscemi. In 1994, Buscemi made his first feature film with Adam Sandler, the metalhead-hostage-crisis comedy Airheads. Hubie Halloween will be his fifteenth film with Sandler, including uncredited cameos in Billy Madison and The Wedding Singer. In Hubie Halloween, he plays Hubie's neighbor Walter.
Making his first appearance in an Adam Sandler movie,the great Kenan Thompson plays a police officer in Hubie Halloween. After starring in Nickelodeon kids' sketch comedy show All That, and then getting spun off to Kenan & Kel, Thompson and his co-star Kel Mitchell co-starred in the 1997 film Good Burger. In 2003, Thompson was cast on Saturday Night Live, where he'd go on to play such beloved recurring characters as French Def Jam comic Jean K. Jean, classic cinema host Reese De'What, "Black Jeopardy" host Darnell Hayes, and "What Up with That" host DeAndre Cole. On the big screen, he's been a voice in a whole bunch of animated films, from The Smurfs, to The Grinch, to Trolls World Tour. He just began is 17th season on SNL, and has the upcoming NBC sitcom Kenan is in the works with Happy Endings creator David Caspe.
Another SNL alum, Maya Rudolph plays an old classmate of Hubie's. The once and future Saturday Night Live star began on the show in 2000, and recently won one of two Emmys for her guest appearances as VP candidate Kamala Harris. Her other Emmy was for her peerless work voicing Connie the Hormone Monstress in Big Mouth. Other TV work has included the short-lived NBC sitcom Up All Night, where she played an Oprah-esque talk show host opposite new parents Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, and a stint as an afterlife judge on The Good Place. Plus she played Dionne Warwick to absolute perfection on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Rudolph has appeared in such films as Bridesmaids opposite Kristen Wiig, Away We Go, opposite John Krasinski, The Way, Way Back opposite Sam Rockwell, and in the 2014 film Inherent Vice for her husband, director Paul Thomas Anderson. Hubie Halloween will be her 5th Happy Madison movie, after 50 First Dates, Zookeeper, and both Grown Ups movies.
Yep, another Saturday Night Live star. At one time, Tim Meadows' ten seasons as a Saturday Night Live regular cast member set the record for longest-tenured performer (he's since been out-lasted by Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Darrell Hammond, and Kenan Thompson). Four of those seasons were spent with Adam Sandler, and during that span they were both in the Coneheads movie. After leaving SNL, Meadows made his mark playing the principal in Mean Girls, although clearly his greatest film triumph was romancing Julianne Moore in a clown costume in The Ladies Man movie in 2000. This is his 5th Happy Madison movie, after The Benchwarmers, the two Grown Ups films, and Jack & Jill.
Playing Tommy, the son of Julie Bowen's Violet Valentine, is Noah Schnapp. The 15-year-old actor has played Tom Hanks' son in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated Bridge of Spies and the voice of Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie. But of course the role he's best known for is playing Will Byers in Netflix's Stranger Things.
Making his very first appearance in a Happy Madison movie is Ray Liotta, the acclaimed star of Goodfellas and Field of Dreams. After enjoying a breakout role as the antagonist in director Jonathan Demme's 1986 film Something Wild, Liotta has starred in over 75 films. Most recently, he won acclaim for his performance as a ruthless divorce lawyer in Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story. On TV, he played Frank Sinatra in the 1998 film The Rat Pack, won a guest actor Emmy for an episode of ER, and starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in the NBC cop drama Shades of Blue.
Former Disney Channel tween star Peyton List is making her first appearance in an Adam Sandler production (although Sandler did make an uncredited cameo on a 2013 episode of her TV series Jessie). In her early films, she played the young version of Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses and the young version of Teresa Palmer in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, before playing the grade-school bully of Robert Pattinson's sister in the secret 9/11 movie Remember Me. She also appeared as the love interest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies. On the Disney channel, she starred opposite Debby Ryan in Jessie, and its spinoff series Bunk'd. In 2016, she starred in the YouTube Premium film The Thinning, and in that film's sequel two years later. She also has a recurring role in the smash hit series Cobra Kai.
Counting his role in Hubie Halloween, Rob Schneider has made 22 movies with his old SNL pal Adam Sandler, starting with The Waterboy, where Schneider's repeated shouting of "You can do it!" heralded a decades-long cinematic partnership. Happy Madison produced all of Schneider's leading-man films, from The Animal, to The Hot Chick, to Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo and its sequel. Before Hubie Halloween, his most recent project with Sandler was in 2017's Sandy Wexler.
The Commish himself, Michael Chiklis has had a long and varied career. He made an incredibly inauspicious debut, playing the late John Belushi in the widely panned biopic Wired. Two years later, he received the lead role in the cop drama The Commish, which ran for five seasons on ABC. After the short-lived NBC sitcom Daddio, Chiklis was once again cast as a cop on the groundbreaking FX drama The Shield. That series ran for seven seasons and set the template for basic cable antihero dramas in the Aughts, winning Chiklis a surprise Emmy Award for the show in 2002. In 2005, Chilkis was cast as Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing, opposite Chris Evans and Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four. Most recently, Chiklis appeared for two seasons as The Executioner on Gotham. In Hubie Halloween, Chiklis plays the town of Salem's resident preacher.
In the role of Hubie Dubois's mother is Academy Award nominee June Squibb. Squibb's career stretches all the way back to the 1950s, when she appeared on Broadway in the Ethel Merman production of Gypsy. She made her film debut at the age of 61 in the Woody Allen film Alice. She starred opposite Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, and Kevin Kline in In & Out. In 2002, Squibb was cast in her biggest role to date, playing Jack Nicholson's ill-fated wife in About Schmidt. She must have made a good impression on director Alexander Payne, because eleven years later, he cast her as Bruce Dern's wife in Nebraska, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. At age 84, she was the third-oldest nominee for Best Supporting Actress ever, behind only Gloria Stuart (Titanic) and Ruby Dee (American Gangster).
He's Shaq! What can you say? He was a superstar in college at LSU, drafted by the Orlando Magic, took the NBA by storm, and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers mid-career (forming one of the all-time best/most tempestuous athletic pairings with Kobe Bryant), won a bunch of NBA championships, starred in the film Kazaam, tripped over Larry David's carelessly outstretched legs on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and is now a studio analyst opposite Charles Barkley on TNT's NBA broadcasts. Hubie Halloween will be his 5th Happy Madison movie after The House Bunny, Jack & Jill, Grown Ups 2, and Blended.
Hubie Halloween drops on Netflix October 7th.
Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: Hubie Halloween, Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, June Squibb, Kenan Thompson, Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, Michael Chiklis, Noah Schnapp, Peyton List, Ray Liotta, Rob Schneider, Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Buscemi, Tim Meadows