Monday, November 29, 2010

You'll always be Shirley to us

RIP Leslie Nielsen.

Watching "Airplane" on a regular basis was something of a ritual with my dad, my sister and me after my folks got divorced. We were able to quote chapter and verse at the drop of a hat. Even now, 30 years later, my sister and I can't let the question "what can you make of this?" go by without responding "well, I could make a hat, a brooch, or a pterodactyl." Likewise, Leslie Nielsen's deadpan answers to frantic questions get me every time.

I enjoyed Nielsen in "Forbidden Planet" (aka Shakespeare's "The Tempest" for the sci-fi set) and generally ignored the juvenile Naked Gun series. However, it's in "Airplane!", the movie against which all other movie spoofs are measured and found lacking, that Nielsen gained screen immortality along with the thanks of a kid who definitely needed the laughs when he was 15 and 16.

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