When you talk about comedy in the 1980’s the landscape seems defined by Saturday Night Live, and the work of John Hughes and the ZAZ team (Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker). Between Planes, Trains and Automobiles and The Naked Gun, you’re covering all three (in a way – Steve Martin never was a cast member on SNL, but is their most famous host, while John Candy was known for SCTV, but only hosted one episode). Both have come to Blu-ray exclusively at Best Buy. Our reviews of both follow after the jump.
Leslie Nielsen, the actor whose superlative comic timing set the pace for the modern spoof genre, has died at the age of 84. Nielsen spent the last twelve days in a Ft. Lauderdale hospital due to a case of pneumonia which worsened over the last forty-eight hours. His nephew, Doug Nielsen, states, “With his friends and his wife, Barbaree, by his side, he fell asleep and passed away.”
Nielsen got his start on television in the 1950s, and spent the next three decades amassing an impressive filmography of mostly dramatic fare, including notable roles in Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure. His career entered a new phase in 1980, with an unforgettable turn in the iconic comedy Airplane!. The latter half of his career was marked by similarly comedic roles, most notably Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series. In tribute, hit the jump for a compilation of some of the funniest moments from Airplane! and the Naked Gun films.