Airplane! is one of the many classic spoof films that’s been made in the history of cinema. It was released in 1980 and became a fairly instant classic. The film’s budget was modest at $3.5 million, which it easily surpassed since after its release it made a whopping $83 million at the box office. By today’s standards that might mean box office death, but back in the 80’s that was still something to be proud of, especially since it earned so much in relation to its budget.
But despite the love that people showed this film there are still a few facts that many don’t seem to remember about this film.
10. Bruce Jenner and David Letterman tried out for the lead role.
Neither one seems like they would have made a good Ted Striker to be honest, but the directors even turned down suggestions of Chevy Chase. What they got instead was someone that was still able to work on his deadpan humor and could be directed instead of just tolerated.
9. The guy that got the role of Ted Striker was a certified pilot.
He was in between gigs at that point but he was able to make his way over to Airplane! and successfully complete the role. Being a certified pilot was simply a bonus.
8. It helped launch Leslie Nielsen’s comedy career.
A lot of us don’t remember a time when Nielsen wasn’t funny, but this movie really helped to develop that side of him. After this of course came the Naked Gun series and then eventually the Scary Movie series.
7. Nielsen sold whoopee cushions to the cast in order to stay in character.
It got to be so bad that nothing could get done for all the farting noises going on. Eventually the cushions had to be confiscated.
6. The older woman that spoke jive was originally from Leave It To Beaver.
They had someone else lined up originally but the woman didn’t seem comfortable with the scene so the mom from Leave It To Beaver was brought in instead.
5. Jimmie Walker has a cameo.
It’s the smallest cameo in the movie sine he’s kind of there and gone. He’s the window washer cleaning the outside of the plane.
4. Jive is obviously a made-up language.
It sounds pretty funny but it was actually made up by the two actors that are seen talking jive in the movie.
3. The German title translates as “The Incredible Journey in the Crazy Airplane”.
I kind of wonder why they redid the title when the simple two-syllable word would have been just as good in many languages.
2. Air Mexico showed Airplane! as an in-flight movie.
They were the only airline to do this. You might think it’s for obvious reasons but if airlines were allowed to show the film Alive at one point you wouldn’t think they’d have had any issue showing a spoof movie. Of course Alive came later on.
1. Otto the autopilot has a Facebook page of his very own.
Yes, the blow up doll that piloted the plane when the real pilots were unconscious has his own Facebook page.
How many facts did you know or remember?
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