I could talk on and on about the greatness of Christopher McDonald, and chances are you’d have no idea who I was referring to. I could list the movies you’ve seen him in, movies that I’d bet you’ve seen and liked, and even then, you still might not be sure who that smarmy actor is.
MAYBE I'LL GO MAKE STUFF OUT OF CLAY!: McDonald (left) and the back of Adam Sandler's head in Happy Gilmore
But if I said he was the guy who played Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore, arguably Adam Sandler’s funniest dude movie, I’d have to wager that most of you would instantly recognize who I was talking about. It’s a great role for him, one that oozes unctuous smugness. Yet, as with many of our previous favorites, McDonald is versatile, and has performed well beyond this iconic role. But it’s there where we’ll start.
1. Shooter McGavin
Happy Gilmore (1996)
As the evil golfer, he dished out one of the best put-downs ever: “No, I didn’t see Happy Gilmore’s day, I was too busy winning.” Sandler gets in lines of his own, though, like “you eat pieces of shit for breakfast?”
2. Tabby Tippons
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
He hosts the TV show that Ellen Burstyn thinks she’s going to appear on. This inspires her to take diet pills so she’ll look good on TV. And then, well…just watch the movie if you haven’t already.
3. Jack Barry
Quiz Show (1994)
In Robert Redford’s amazing film, he’s the host of “Twenty-One.” As you’ll see, playing a television personality is a recurring theme on McDonald’s résumé.
4. Darryl Dickinson
Thelma and Louise (1991)
In this man-basher, Thelma’s husband is one of the most odious characters. He’d prefer his wife stay in the kitchen.
5. Kent Mansley
The Iron Giant (1999)
McDonald gives voice to the bad guy, the government agent who convinces the army to strike against the Iron Giant. McDonald’s other voice work includes the role of Jor-El on the animated Superman series from the ’90s.
6. Ron Anderson
Broken Flowers (2005)
As the husband of one of Bill Murray’s ex-flames, McDonald owns one of the best scenes of the movie ― an excruciating dinner in a sterile suburban house.
7. Todd Gross
The Perfect Storm (2000)
Boston residents know: he’s this film’s go-to Boston TV weatherman. I haven’t seen the real Gross on the air locally in a while; is he still around?
8. Mel Allen
As the famous voice of the Yankees, he calls the infamous chase of Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record by Mantle and Maris in Billy Crystal’s film. I’m not going to say the catch phrase. No. I won’t do it, you hear?
He was Kelly’s agent. Seriously.
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
I’m guessing he was one of many people in the crossfire between Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. I’ll admit: I’ve never actually seen this film, but a lot of people tell me I’d like it.