“Shirley You Can’t Be Serious!” The Oral History Of “Airplane!”

Came across “The Naked Gun” the other night and it reminded me of just how funny this movie is…



“Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue!”

Of course you know the line, just as you know this classic movie exchange:


And of course, this film is also known for the greatest comedic exchange of all time:

Rumack: “I won’t deceive you, Mr. Striker. We’re running out of time.”
Ted Striker: “Surely there must be something you can do.”
Rumack: “I’m doing everything I can… and stop calling me Shirley!”


Time For The “Oral” History Of “Airplane!”

Whenever you ask people to name the funniest movie of all time, “Airplane” is near or at the top of the list…a non-stop barrage of sight gags, hilariously over-the-top dialogue and genuinely funny scenes performed in perfect deadpan, “Airplane” was directed by the team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker…


Now, thanks to The Onion’s “A.V. Club”, there is a terrific oral history of the movie! That’s…

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6 replies

  1. Catholic High Schools made an impression when I saw it on cable years ago. I was like, what a great idea for the use of a shower screen.

  2. I picked one helluva week to stop sniffing glue.

  3. Who doesn’t love this one? I still chuckle at the Turkish Prison line, and you are dead right to say that it works so well because they all play it straight. Comedy fails for me when the cast members are ‘in on the joke’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. My favorite part will always be Barbara Billingsley jiving.

    • Indeed! She did such a great job, and the reason this film works is that NO ONE acts like they are in on the joke…the key is to play it straight – thanks for the comment!

      • I agree. Add to the deadpan deliveries all the actors on the cast! I don’t remember which Airplane it was, but I loved it when there was a cameo featuring William Shatner as Kirk. It made me laugh aloud.

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