During his most recent appearance on Bill Maher’s Club Random podcast, Quentin Tarantino confirmed a long-running rumour surrounding Adam Sandler and the 2009-release Inglourious Basterds. Finally coming clean about writing Sergeant Donny The Bear Jew Donowitz for Sandler, Tarantino was joined by interviewer Judd Apatow and emcee Maher. Tarantino’s Sandler fantasy, however, was never achieved since Apatow had already committed to having Sandler appear in Funny People films.
In reference to his appearance in Adam Sandler’s 2000 comedy Little Nicky, Tarantino said, “[Judd and I ] met each other through Adam Sandler during the time… I was like hanging out with that crew for a while. We went to a bunch of different things together. But also ‘Freaks and Geeks’ had just went off the air or it was on its way to go off the air and I had missed it, but that whole ‘Happy Madison’ crowd was like crazy for it.”
“I feel bad because when I did ‘Funny People’ with Sandler, I wasn’t aware that that was the exact time you were trying to use him for ‘Inglorious Basterds,’” Apatow chimed in.
“Obviously he should’ve done yours because of the whole thing of it,” Tarantino responded. “I mean, you start with the fucking video cassette of you guys as kids. But yeah, the Bear Jew was going to…I wrote the Bear Jew for Adam Sandler. When I was doing ‘Little Nicky,’ he’s telling me like, “Oh man, I get to fucking beat up Nazis with a bat? Fucking script! Fucking awesome! I can’t fucking wait! I can’t fucking wait!” He was like telling every Jewish guy, “I’m going to fucking play this guy who beats up Nazis with a fucking bat.’”
Apatow had already persuaded Sandler to star in Funny People a year and a half before filming began, and Tarantino and Apatow were both eager to start their films at the exact same time. Finding a successor for Sandler’s role in Inglourious Basterds wasn’t so simple for Tarantino.
“Here’s the problem. [Judd] wrapped up all the good Jews [for ‘Funny People’],” Tarantino added. “That was the problem. Seth Rogen and all the good Jews were doing ‘Funny People.’ I’m killing Hitler with baseball bats and there’s no good Jews available! David Krumholtz, nobody! All the good Jews were all wrapped up! I’m doing the Jewish male fantasy!”
In the end, Tarantino chose to cast his old friend Eli Roth for the part. On December 18, the complete episode of Maher’s Club Random podcast featuring Tarantino and Apatow will be accessible.