Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, RIP

Leslie Nielsen, who traded in his dramatic persona for inspired bumbling in "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" comedies, died Sunday. He was 84.
As Nielsen confessed to the New York Times in 1993: "I've always been a closet comedian".

Watch this tribute video of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, using mixed clips of the best scenes from both movies:

"In the 1980 movie 'Airplane!', he was the hapless doctor aboard a plane in which the pilots, and some of the passengers, become violently ill, Nielsen says they must get to a hospital right away.

"A hospital? What is it?" a flight attendant asks, inquiring about the illness.

"It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now," Nielsen deadpans.

When he asks a passenger if he can fly the plane, the man replies, "Surely you can't be serious."

Nielsen responds: "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."
I remembered watching this movie and I imploded in a laughing frenzy of hilarious howling because it was really, really funny! Suddenly, I have this delectable desire to watch the movie again!

"After the movie's success, Nielsen took on the role as Detective Drebin in a TV series, "Police Squad," which trashed the cliches of "Dragnet" and other cop shows. Despite good reviews, ABC quickly canceled it. Only six episodes were made.

"It didn't belong on TV," Nielsen later commented. "It had the kind of humor you had to pay attention to."

And so the series were converted into a feature film, "The Naked Gun," and it became another massive hit, which led to sequels "The Naked Gun 2 1/2" and "The Naked Gun 33 1/3."

Leslie Nielsen, RIP.

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