Adam Sandler First Comedy Is So Awful You Need To See It To Believe

By Brian Myers | Published

adam sandler

Despite a body of films that are notable comedy entries, Adam Sandler has starred in several that either have not stood the test of time or were less-than-stellar to begin with. For every great comedy like The Wedding Singer or Punch Drunk Love, there seems to be a Click or a You Don’t Mess with the Zohan to balance out brilliance with stupidity. Whether you’re a devoted fan or one of Sandler’s detractors, his first film, Going Overboard, is in the running for one of the worst films ever created.

Adam Sandler In Going Overboard

On paper, it might seem like Going Overboard begins with an overused trope of a failing performer getting inside advice that becomes a boon to his career.

Shecky Moskowitz (Adam Sandler) is a struggling stand-up comic that lands a job filling in for the ship’s headlining comedian on a cruise. When that comic goes missing, Shecky is tapped to headline.

A Weird Premise

adam sandler going overboard

Shecky bombs his first show miserably but is inspired by wise words from legendary comedian Milton Berle, who just happens to be on the ship.

Inspired by one of the industry’s legends, Shecky kills at his next performance. Now, if that were the entire story arc of Going Overboard, it would be a lukewarm and tired approach to a film theme that was worn out long ago.

Cruise Ship And Terrorists

adam sandler going overboard

But Going Overboard doesn’t end with this quasi-inspirational moment. The cruise ship is suddenly overrun by a group of terrorists who have boarded the ship to assassinate Miss Australia, who is along for the ride. From there, the movie gets even more absurd, further weighed down by Sandler’s inexperience on screen and a script that reads like someone wrote it in a day.

Written In Three Days

adam sandler going overboard

To be fair, Going Overboard was written in three days and was part of the film’s producer, Randolf Turrow, becoming privy to the promoters of a Florida beauty pageant renting a cruise ship for the contestants as a publicity stunt. Turrow saw this as an opportunity to make a film, so he quickly worked with screenwriter Valerie Breiman to churn out the dialogue. From the moment Turrow dreamed up the idea of the movie until its completion was a mere three months, a rush job that is evident throughout the film.

Some Familiar Faces In Going Overboard

Going Overboard has more familiar faces than Adam Sandler and Milton Berle. Audiences will be able to spot a young Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Zane, Burt Young, and Lisa Collins.

As you can imagine, the critics haven’t been kind to Going Overboard. It would have been a forgotten movie altogether had Sandler not become one of Saturday Night Live’s biggest stars several years after its release. When Sandler’s film Billy Madison was released, Going Overboard was released on video in hopes of riding on the coattails of its star.

Streaming Going Overboard


Going Overboard is one of the worst films I’ve seen. But, like The Room and Plan 9 from Outer Space, it’s so terrible that you’ll need to see it at least once so you’ll know why this 0.5/5.0 star film has generated a small cult following.

If you must, you can stream Going Overboard free with Roku, Tubi, and Vudu, or rent it On Demand from Google Play, AppleTV, and Prime.