Toll Booth Willie

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Toll Booth Willie is a comedy skit by Adam Sandler and Steve Koren[1] about a much-abused toll-taker in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The skit, which appears on Sandler's 1993 debut album They're All Gonna Laugh at You!, stars Sandler in the title role, speaking in an exaggerated New England accent.

Plot[edit]

The humor of the skit lies in the unexpectedly vile scorn with which the drivers on Willie's toll road treat him. Willie initially treats toll road drivers with courtesy, but changes to obscenity-laced tirades after they invariably insult him. This happens with six cars in quick succession: two men, an elderly woman, a man, a bishop ("Bishop Nelson"), a man and a young woman. The various drivers and passengers are voiced by Steve Koren, Tim Herlihy, Tim Meadows, Margaret Ruden, Rob Schneider and David Spade.

In a precursor to Sandler's early movies (Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore), the audience identifies with Willie as a "lovable loser" who may not be a great role model, but perseveres even though people seem bent on ruining his life.

Bishop Nelson, for example, insults Willie's mother and speeds off after carrying on a seemingly pleasant conversation with Willie about his sermon the previous day. Once he leaves, Willie yells at him, "It's not my fault the bartender cut you off last night, you fucking douchebag!"

The last person to pay the $1.25 toll, a young woman, appears set to leave without insulting Willie, until he offers her a receipt. She asks him to sign it, and then says she wanted proof that she had met "the biggest fucking dipshit with the smallest dick alive."

When Willie leaves his tollbooth to accost the woman, he is struck by the seventh car, whose passengers immediately express astonishment that they've run over such a worthless person, as Willie vows to beat them up as soon as he heals.

Impact[edit]

The name of the road is never identified, but is presumably the Massachusetts Turnpike, the only toll road with exits near Worcester. The road does not have any exits within Worcester; at the time the skit was recorded, the closest two were in the neighboring towns of Auburn (Exit 10) and Millbury, Massachusetts (Exit 11). There is still no turnpike exit in Worcester, although Exit 10A opened in 1998 just over the city line in Millbury. Thus, in New England, the skit has come to be identified both with Worcester and with the turnpike.

Several of the skit's lines have become catchphrases. Radio stations in Central Massachusetts still occasionally play Sandler's "Welcome to Worcester ..." greeting (sometimes complete with "... a dollar twenty-five, please"). Most Sandler fans instantly recognize the one-liner "I'm comin' outta da booth!".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "They're All Gonna Laugh at You". Allmusic.com. Accessed January 27, 2012. [1]