09 March 2013
It's worse than Detroit
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking."
"I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."
"Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"
"Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol!"
Ah, quotes from the brilliance that is the movie "Airplane!" Since its release in 1980 (seriously, that is 33 years ago! I was a mere 14 years old. Yikes!), I have never tired of this movie. Every time I have seen it, I have laughed. It kills me every single time. To me, it is timeless comedy.
For whatever reason, the movie is in pretty heavy rotation on one of the movie channels right now. So I'm getting a chance to laugh a lot. Turns out though, it may not be as timeless as I thought, or hoped. The few times the Boy has been with me while this treasure trove of comedy is on, he has just stared at it, without laughter. He has looked at me and said, 'Dad, it's just lame.' A dagger to my heart, people, a dagger to my heart. I can only surmise that he's completely dead inside. OK, maybe not completely dead, but how can he not laugh himself silly at this movie?
I had a chance to meet Leslie Nielsen, Dr. Rumack from the movie, several years ago in a Delta lounge at Tokyo Narita. We were on the same flight back to Los Angeles and he could not have been nicer. As I recall, I think I said something like 'Thanks for the laughs in Airplane' and he was very gracious in his response. A few years later, I attended the 25th anniversary release party of the movie on one of the studio lots in Burbank. It was a really fun night. Several members of the cast who hadn't died at that point attended and pretty much every one in attendance could quote the film in its entirety.
It's not often that you get to make connections like that with some silly movie that's made you laugh for three decades. I hate to say it, but they just don't make them like that anymore.