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Happy Gilmore: The 10 Best Characters, Ranked | ScreenRant

Happy Gilmore features numerous actors and characters who would go on to reappear in Adam Sandler's movies throughout the decades following its release, some of them becoming the most famous characters from the "Sandlerverse". Whether they be villains, mentors, or even just cameos, the funniest characters in Happy Gilmore are guaranteed to raise a smile even after all these years.

RELATED: Get in the Hole! The 10 Funniest Quotes From Happy Gilmore

The golfing comedy is one of the most memorably zany entries into Sandler's generally unconventional filmography thanks to these characters. But which of them sits above the others as the best of the best?

10 Gary Potter (Kevin Nealon)

Played by Adam Sandler's fellow SNL alum Kevin Nealon, Gary Potter appears as a helpful friend to Happy in the golfing world, as he's a pro player himself with plenty of advice to give. Potter's focus on positive energy also makes him a fun counterbalance to Happy's more aggressive temperament.

Nealon would go on to become one of the many frequent faces in the movies produced by Adam Sandler's company, Happy Madison Productions. However, Gary Potter remains one of his most famous roles.

9 Otto (Allen Covert)

Otto shows up outside Happy's first pro tour and tries to clean Happy's windshield for some quick cash, which Happy can relate to. Happy then tries to pay Otto but security at the course intervenes to take Otto away despite Happy's protestations. After then finding out that he needs his own caddy in the competition, Happy then enlists Otto and even though the character never speaks, he's one of the biggest sources of laughs throughout the rest of the movie.

Otto's empathetic loyalty to Happy on the course is made all the more enjoyable for fans by the fact that Otto is played by another real-life Happy Madison loyalist, Allen Covert.

8 Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen)

Many sports comedies contain romantic interests for the lead character, and Happy Gilmore is no exception. It's not always an exhilarating role for an actor to take on but Julie Bowen of Modern Family fame makes the golf tour's public relations director, Virginia Venit, one of the film's most standout characters.

She doesn't get pushed around by either Happy or his main rival, Shooter McGavin, who both seem equally interested in her and she's also clearly one of the smartest characters in the movie. This makes her choice to pursue Happy feel more like her own decision and less like the whim of the screenplay, which — while still not exactly progressive — is refreshing for such a typically restrictive role.

7 Mr. Larson (Richard Kiel)

Mr. Larson starts out as a very disgruntled former employer of Happy but later shows up as one of the amateur golfer's most enthusiastic supporters. Both of these functions are made all the funnier by the fact that Mr. Larson was played by towering 7'2" actor Richard Kiel.

RELATED: The Cast Of Happy Gilmore, Then And Now

Next to Mr. Larson, Kiel's most famous movie role was his recurring appearance as the iconic James Bond henchman, Jaws. So, his intimidating nature is hilarious for the audience when it's turned on the villainous Shooter McGavin, especially when Shooter underestimates just how tall Mr. Larson really is. Mr. Larson is one of the smaller roles, but one of the more memorable.

6 Bob Barker (Himself)

Though technically not a character from the film, famous game show host Bob Barker plays a version of himself in Happy Gilmore who joins up to play a celebrity tournament with Happy before descending into a violent feud with him.

Though Barker is less than understanding towards Happy's frustrations about things in the tournament that are holding him back, it's understandable how the former The Price is Right host didn't have time for Happy's immaturity, and it's much funnier for the audience to see the two rub each other the wrong way. Their tussle on the golf course is one of Happy Gilmore's funniest scenes and won the very first MTV Movie Award for Best Fight.

5 Grandma Gilmore (Frances Bay)

Happy's whole motivation throughout the story is his loving grandma, whose house has been repossessed, leaving the wannabe hockey player desperate for a way to make money quickly. It's not the most conventional setup for a sports comedy, but it's easy to see why Happy is so desperate to keep Grandma Gilmore safe in her own home.

Described by Happy as a saintly figure, Grandma Gilmore completely lives up to his stories of selfless kindness. She reminds Happy that all she hopes for is his own contentment in life, helping him to achieve the state of mind that he needs in order to win the championship. While she may be absent for long stretches of the movie, she's ultimately the driving force behind the whole plot and always a sweet presence on screen.

4 Hal L. (Ben Stiller)

Ben Stiller is an underrated king of the movie cameo, with one of his most beloved of all time coming near the beginning of Happy Gilmore when he appears as nursing assistant Hal L.

RELATED: 10 Funniest Ben Stiller Movie Quotes, Ranked

Hal is far from a nice person but he gets some of the most memorable quotes in the entire film and Stiller's performance as the two-faced whip-cracker is one of the most animated. The character left such a big impact in such a relatively short amount of time that it would live on in fans' memories for decades and Stiller would return to the role again in Sandler's 2020 comedy Hubie Halloween.

3 Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald)

It's often said as a general rule of thumb that stories, particularly stories about competitions, are only as good as their villains and the smarmy pro golfer Shooter McGavin is a terrifically watchable heel throughout the whole movie.

He is a classic caricature of a country club snob who represents everything that Happy hates. McGavin is stuck-up, a cheater, and just generally rude. Considering how lovely Grandma Gilmore is to Happy, his rivalry with Shooter is really the only thing giving the finale high stakes, and it makes the protagonist's victory all the sweeter to see Shooter beaten fair and square.

2 Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers)

Chubbs Peterson starts out as a bored former golfing pro teaching elderly clients with little enthusiasm but has his passion for the game is rekindled by Happy's firey style. He quickly goes on to steal all of the scenes that he appears in and became one of the most beloved recurring characters in Adam Sandler's movies.

Chubbs is one of those characters that, while quite distinct thanks to their backstory and their overall design, is inseparable from the actor who plays them. Former action star Carl Weathers brings a uniquely enthusiastic comedic energy to the role and he delivered Happy Gilmore's most famous catchphrase, "it's all in the hips."

1 Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler)

Next to his breakout title character from the previous year, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore remains the most iconic character of Adam Sandler's movie career so far. Alongside Madison, Happy would go on to make up half of the name of Sandler's production company, and talk of a Happy Gilmore sequel persists over 25 years later.

Though his anger ultimately gets him into more trouble than it helps him out of, Happy's struggles are some of the most relatable of any of Adam Sandler's famous comedy characters. The fact that he yearns to be a hockey player over being a golfer, despite being much better at the latter than the former, makes him enjoyably down-to-earth about the traditionally "stuffy" sport. His unwavering dedication to his beloved grandma also exemplifies the sweet innocence of many of Sandler's earlier characters, making him easy to root for.

NEXT: Adam Sandler's 10 Funniest Characters, Ranked

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