Claim: Adam Sandler accurately predicted several major tragedies via cryptic, one-line remarks in his movies and TV appearances.
Comedian Adam Sandler is well-known for his jump from Saturday Night Live to mainstream stardom in film, grossing millions of dollars through box office hits including Big Daddy and Happy Gilmore. The actor's characteristic goofy delivery and not-so-serious tone are dissonant from that of a Nostradamus-like prophet ... which makes a new web rumor puzzling indeed.
Readers have been writing in to ask about a mysterious claim that Sandler's comedic bits have been infused with
vague, yet accurate, predictions of tragedies over the years. Among the incidents Sandler allegedly predicted were the siege at Waco, the missing Malaysian jetliner, and the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
Oftentimes when a story travels across the web, its source or origin becomes obfuscated along the way. Although this rumor is relatively new, it already appears to be reaching social media users out of context, exacerbating the confusion. It was not difficult to trace the rumor of Adam Sandler's surprisingly sage and specific predictions back to a relatively new website, ClickHole. An entry titled "5 Tragedies Weirdly Predicted By Adam Sandler," was posted to that site on 18 August 2014.
ClickHole is an offshoot of the humor publication The Onion, a site that (among other efforts) creates purely satirical pieces, quizzes, humorous infographics, and other content parodying the legion of "Upworthy-style" sites currently popular across the social web. On their "About Us" page, ClickHole explains the site's content focus thusly:
Today, the average website carelessly churns out hundreds of pieces of pandering, misleading content, most of which tragically fall short of going viral.
At ClickHole, we refuse to stand for this. We strive to make sure that all of our content panders to and misleads our readers just enough to make it go viral. You see, we don't think anything on the internet should ever have to settle for mere tens of thousands of pageviews. We believe that each and every article — whether about pop culture, politics, internet trends, or social justice — should be clicked on and shared by hundreds of millions of internet users before they can even comprehend what they just read.
In short, the claims about Adam Sandler's predictions were never meant to be taken seriously. The post itself was written in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, with "examples" easily disproven (by their non-existence) through a single viewing of any of the mentioned films or vintage SNL footage:
The infamous 1997 car crash that claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales shocked the world, but hardcore Sandler fans immediately made the connection to one seemingly out-of-place scene from 1996's Happy Gilmore, in which Sandler looks directly into the camera and says, 'Our Queen's eldest, the beautiful flower, will wilt under a Parisian bridge.'
The original Clickhole post regarding Adam Sandler's "predictions" is clearly a satirical effort — but as is so often the case, the rumor separated from its source as it circulated, losing the contextual clues that its intent was purely humorous.