FLASHBACK: Bob Barker Punches His Way onto the Big Screen in 'Happy Gilmore'

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Bob Barker turns 93 years old today, and to commemorate the
TV legend’s birthday, we’re looking back at a performance no loyal viewer of The Price Is Right saw coming.

Happy Gilmore, a
film that (along with the success of Billy
Madison
) solidified Adam Sandler as the new comedy leading man, featured an
unlikely cameo by the silver-haired icon that made the 1996 golf comedy an
instant classic. And ET had a front-row seat on set as the two filmed their
golf course brawl, the culmination of their characters’ increasing dislike for
one another. 

“It's the pro celebrity tournament and I am desperate to
win. I want to win and he plays badly and I become more and more disgusted with
him and he has a violent temper,” Barker explained to ET while on location in
Vancouver.  “And finally he clobbers me
and much to his surprise I get up and whip him good.”

MORE: Adam Sandler and Bob Barker Reignite 'Happy Gilmore' Feud

Barker was no stranger to putting his fists up, having
studied karate with Chuck Norris for eight years before getting the call from
his agent. After reading the script, Barker had a very simple reason for
agreeing to do the film. “Because I win the fight,” said Barker, whose decade-spanning
career had yet to include starring on the big screen. “I came to Hollywood in
1950, and in 1995 I get my first role in a picture. [It] took me 45 years to
break into movies!”

Sandler, a co-writer and producer on the film, told ET the
sequence’s nonstop comedic moments also had the input of his old college
roommate Judd Apatow. The Funny People
director was busy at the time making a name for himself writing for The Larry Sanders Show and co-scripting Heavyweights.

MORE: Adam Sandler Meets His Look-alike Who Randomly Shares His Character's Name in 'The Do-Over'

“We didn’t know it was going to be as funny as it was while
Bob’s here,” Sandler said of the initial idea to create a role for Barker. “You
think of it. You read it. You say, ‘Boy, that looks like it could be funny. I
hope it is.’ And then Bob raised it a lot.”

While some of the brawl’s more intense moments required
stunt men for both of them, such as their long tumble down a hill, Barker
assured producers before shooting began that he still wanted in on the action.
“When we heard Bob was gonna do it, we got all excited. Then we heard he wants
to do his own stunts. We were like, ‘What?’” Sandler said.

He would continue to praise Barker’s acting chops throughout
the shoot, noting that their scenes drew an unusually large crowd on set. “I’ve
never seen more people come out for every take. Every time Bob’s about to hit
me wherever, craft services just runs up, watches. I get hit and then they run
away laughing,” Sandler said. 

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Celebrity cameos would become a popular staple of future
films under Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions banner, including the likes of
Billy Idol, John McEnroe, Vanilla Ice and, yup,
Al Pacino. 

Sandler’s next movie, Sandy
Wexler
, see the actor playing a ’90s talent agent in Los Angeles. Among the
many stars already reported to appear in the film is comedian and former late
night host Arsenio Hall. While it hasn’t been confirmed, the film’s ’90s setting
begs the question if perhaps Hall might be following the grand tradition
started by Barker and appearing in the movie as himself. It’s also not hard to
envision Hall utilizing his popular “dog pound” fist pump in another celebrity
melee.

Upon retiring from The
Price Is Right
in 2007, Barker’s acting turn -- 45 years in the making --
continued to be fresh in the minds of the show’s contestants. At the time, Barker
revealed to ET, “I don’t tape a Price Is
Right
that someone doesn’t start talking about Happy Gilmore. I did that picture with him 10 years ago and it’s
still going on!”