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7 Astonishing Facts About Airplane! By Zucker Brothers And Jim Abrahams

‘Airplane!’ is a timeless classic that has maintained its popularity decades after its release. From its inspiration in ‘Zero Hour!’ to the legal complications of having three directors, there are countless behind-the-scenes stories that add to the film’s charm. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or watching it for the first time, ‘Airplane!’ is guaranteed to leave you laughing and quoting lines for days.

Alright, folks, fasten your seat belts and get ready for takeoff! Today we’re talking about ‘Airplane!,’ the hilarious movie directed by the iconic trio of the Zucker Brothers and Jim Abrahams. Released in 1980, ‘Airplane!’ became an instant classic and paved the way for countless parodies and spoof movies in the years to come.

But did you know that behind the jokes and gags, there are some truly astonishing facts about the making of ‘Airplane!’? From the all-star cast to the last-minute changes, this movie has a story that’s as fascinating as it is funny. So sit back, relax, and let’s discover together seven astonishing facts about ‘Airplane!’ that you probably didn’t know!

The New Side Of Leslie Nielson, Peter Graves, Robert Sack, And Lloyd Bridges

One of the things that make ‘Airplane!’ so special is its talented cast, which includes Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Lloyd Bridges. What’s interesting is that these actors were all known for playing serious roles in films and TV shows. In ‘Airplane!,’ they get to show off their comedic chops, and the result is a hilarious film that still holds up today.

‘Airplane!’ Needed Only Two Days To Prove Its Success

When ‘Airplane!’ was released in 1980, no one knew that it would become an instant hit. However, the movie proved its worth within just two days of its release by earning back its entire production budget. In fact, Airplane! was so successful that it went on to become the highest-grossing comedy of all time until the release of ‘Ghostbusters’ in 1984.

Despite its success, there was one industry that didn’t take kindly to the film – the airline industry. None of the airlines except for Aeromexico opted to show ‘Airplane!’ as an in-flight movie. Nevertheless, the movie’s achievements are undeniable, and its success continues to be celebrated by audiences today.

Michael Scott Makes The Best ‘Airplane!’ Reference In ‘The Office’

In the US version of The Office, Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, makes what is arguably the best ‘Airplane!’ reference. When someone questions his decision, he confidently responds with the classic line, ‘I surely do, and don’t call me honey.’ The reference is a nod to the famous scene in Airplane! where a character named Johnny, played by Stephen Stucker, delivers the same line to a flight attendant. It’s a testament to the lasting impact and influence of the film that it’s still being referenced in popular culture today.

Using ‘Three Directors’ Created Some Legal Problems

Jerry Zucker, David Zucker, and Jim Abrahams all worked together to create the movie, but it caused some legal problems. The Directors Guild of America requires that only one director is credited for a film, so the three of them had to come up with a solution. They decided to credit themselves as ‘Abrahams/Zucker/Abrahams‘ and created the pseudonym ‘Kentucky Fried Theater’ to avoid any further legal issues. Despite the complications, Airplane! became a huge success and is still beloved by audiences today.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Got A Sweet Deal

When it comes to getting what he wants, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar knows how to shoot for the sky. The basketball legend’s agent negotiated an extra $5000 on top of his $30,000 salary for his appearance in ‘Airplane!,’ all so that Abdul-Jabbar could buy an oriental rug he had his eye on. It just goes to show that even a successful athlete like Abdul-Jabbar knows the importance of a good deal.

Airplane! is full of memorable characters, but did you know that David Letterman and Caitlyn Jenner were both interested in playing the role of Ted Striker? Letterman was a rising star at the time and had even auditioned for the part, but he didn’t get the role. Caitlyn Jenner, then known as Bruce Jenner, was also interested in the part, but the producers ultimately decided to go with Robert Hays.

Airplane! Was Inspired By ‘Zero Hour!’

It’s hard to believe that the inspiration behind ‘Airplane!’ came from a serious film called ‘Zero Hour!’ made in 1957. The trio behind the movie, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, were looking for inspiration for their video and film parodies when they stumbled upon the movie. In order to ensure that the camera angles and lighting on Airplane! matched those of Zero Hour!, the trio always had the movie queued up on set. To make sure that they were legally covered, the filmmakers even bought the rights to their semi-source material.

‘Airplane!’ is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and hilarious movies of all time. Its absurd humor, unforgettable lines, and impressive cast have cemented its place in cinema history. But what’s truly remarkable is how it all came together. From its origins as a parody of ‘Zero Hour!’ to the legal issues caused by the use of three directors, the making of ‘Airplane!’ is almost as fascinating as the movie itself.



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