Monday, November 29, 2010


Leslie Nielsen

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of one of my all-time favorite funnymen, Leslie Nielsen, who died yesterday at the age of 84.

My current schedule doesn't permit me to go into great detail about his career but for those not in the know (and I doubt few reading this blog fall into that category), Nielsen spent approximately the first two decades of his career primarily doing "straight" roles in films like the sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet." That all changed with a fateful role in 1980's comedy smash "Airplane." Which in turn led to the short-lived (6 episodes) but brilliantly funny TV series, "Police Squad." Which in turn was spun off into the very successful (and funny) "Naked Gun" comedy film franchise.

He also played a memorable role in the 1982 George Romero/Stephen King horror anthology film "Creepshow," which is more horror than comedy but does have its tongue planted firmly in cheek in spots.

Along the way Nielsen had some chances to appear in modern-day horror-comedies, particularly "Reposessed" (as a priest out to exorcise Linda Blair - yes, it's a spoof of "The Exorcist"), Mel Brooks' "Dracula: Dead & Loving It" (as the title vampire) and a pair of entries in the "Scary Movie" spoof series (3 & 4 to be exact). The films themselves may be a mixed bag, but one thing is sure: Nielsen always brought his A-game, no matter how weak the script or direction of a film may have been.

So here's to you, funnyman! You will be missed.

Now let's let Dracula... er, I mean Leslie have the last word:

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