Lasciate ogne speranza, voi chi’intrate. How did it come to this? At the height of his power in Hollywood in 1999, Adam Sandler founded his own production company as a way to continue making the movies he enjoys. Over the years his films have slowly morphed into a pariah on the landscape of big budget studio comedies, becoming thinly veiled excuses for lavish vacations. But do they truly represent the nadir in the career of one of comedy’s once-brightest stars? Are there any hidden or underrated gems? Is there such a thing as too few fart jokes? Will I retain any sense of sanity by the end of this? Join me and find out, as we venture to the Happy Valley.

I set out on this project not to simply pan a bunch of bad films but to investigate a unique phenomenon in mainstream Hollywood filmmaking. As fun as it can sometimes be to dunk on a terrible movie experience, I felt like I’d be doing a disservice to myself and to the legacy of Happy Madison if I didn’t look for the bright spots or, at least, put each film into context.

I don’t know what the future will hold for the production company, or this essay series, but I hope you’ve enjoyed going on this journey with me. Thank you to Evan Dossey and everyone at Midwest Film Journal for encouraging me every week and providing a home for this very specific brand of insanity. Thank you to my wife for watching most of these films with me (yes, especially Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star). Thank you to Dave Gutierrez, Greg Lindberg and Mitch Ringenberg for joining me in all our roundtable discussions. And thank you to you, the reader, for taking the time out of your day to read these essays every week.

Below is a comprehensive, indisputable, peer-researched ranking of all 46(!) Happy Madison films in order of how much I’d like to purge the memory of it from my consciousness — from “I’m available this Tuesday for a lobotomy, thank you” to “Hey, I had fun!”:

46. Grown-Ups 2

45. Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

44. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

43. The Master of Disguise

42. The Animal

41. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo

40. The Ridiculous 6

39. The Benchwarmers

38. That’s My Boy

37. Father of the Year

36. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

35. Murder Mystery

34. Grown-Ups

33. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

32. Blended

31. Just Go With It

30. Grandma’s Boy

29. Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser

28. The Wrong Missy

27. Little Nicky

26. Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

25. Anger Management

24. Pixels

23. Jack and Jill

22. The Do-Over

21. The Hot Chick

20. Mr. Deeds

19. Zookeeper

18. Paul Blart: Mall Cop

17. Bedtime Stories

16. Eight Crazy Nights

15. The Longest Yard (2005)

14. The Shortcut

13. 50 First Dates

12. Hubie Halloween

11. 100% Fresh

10. The House Bunny

9. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

8. Sandy Wexler

7. Joe Dirt

6. Reign Over Me

5. The Week Of

4. Here Comes the Boom

3. Click

2. Strange Wilderness

1. Funny People