Showing posts from November, 2010

The Essential Films of Leslie Nielsen

The world lost a comedy icon on November 28, 2010: Leslie Nielsen. This man starred in some of my favorite movies as a kid, and while he started his career as a dramatic actor, he will forever be known as one of the most quotable comedic actors from the most quotable comedies ever made. Here are three films you should watch to honor the man.

Airplane! (1980)

I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley. 

Airplane! was one of the first parodies I’ve ever seen. A movie that mocks other famous films and has a ludicrous story with lots of sight gags and one-liners. The difference is that while some are good, and most are freaking terrible, Airplane! stands above all of them. It’s the Citizen Kane of goofball comedies. The story doesn’t even revolve around Nielsen, who plays Dr. Rumack, a passenger on the doomed airplane. But he’s certainly the scene stealer (with Robert Stack getting an honorable mention.) What made this performance so awesome, and really what made MOST of his work so hilarious…

Leslie Nielsen Passes Away

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Leslie Nielsen yesterday.  Nielsen was one of the great comic actors of all time, and don't let anyone tell you differently.
Nielsen started off his career as a television actor and made his motion picture debut in 1956's Ransom.  He went to star in films as varied as Forbidden Planet, Beau Geste and The Poseidon Adventure, but he spent most of his early career in television and supporting roles.  
Then came Airplane! in 1980 and everything changed.  His performance was so brilliant that from that point forward he became known primarily as a comedic actor... and not just that, but a comedic leading man.  He took his newfound comedic success to a strange little television show called "Police Squad!"  While that show didn't last more than 6 episodes, it somehow managed to spawn an incredibly successful and equally hilarious film series in The Naked Gun.  From that point on, he cemented himself as a comedy legend and deli…

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