The Waterboy is essentially a sort of back story for Sandler’s character Canteen Boy on Saturday Night Live. The mannerisms are the same and the voice for the characters are the same. Where Sandler takes it one step further in The Waterboy is to give his character a overly protective mother and a temper that triggers violent rages when he is teased by anyone. Even though his mother is one of his biggest sources of aggravation Bobby, Sandler’s character, would never hurt his mother played by Oscar winner Kathy Bates. The problem is that his mother has a phobia about Bobby leaving her so she keeps a very short leash on him. Bobby has a job as the waterboy for a local college football team but he is so awkward that the players would rather pick on him that practice. The coach fires him and Bobby searches for a new job. He soon catches on to a new college team that is coached by a man that wants to not only protect Bobby but also encourage him to defend himself. One episode with one of the players brings out the violent animal in Bobby and the coach instantly gets Bobby enrolled in college and puts a football uniform on him. The rest of the movie looks at all of the aspects of Bobby’s life as they come crashing in around him and as he tries to maintain his status as a college football player.
The Waterboy is extremely funny and actors like Kathy Bates and Henry Winkler add a lot of depth to a performance by Sandler that is pretty predictable. The Waterboy is also the movie where Rob Schneider introduces his “You can do it” character which is repeated in many Sandler movies after The Waterboy. The Waterboy stands as the movie that really broke Adam Sandler into the Hollywood comedy big time and since then his production company has begun to explore many different types of movies. But The Waterboy stands as the opening chapter of a great American success story and the genesis of one of the most popular run of movies in modern comedy today.