Before There was “Airplane!” There was “The Big Bus” Which Wasn’t Half Bad

That certainly is a big bus. What’s more is that I can honestly say that no way no how would I ever get aboard a contraption like this. It looks like a double-decker bus mated with a bullet train and this is what came out. Plus the inside seems like it’d be just as cramped as commercial airliner, more so thanks to how much stuff seems to be packed in there. But as a comedy it looks like something that would be all slapstick and very little substance. It’d be great I think. But of course I’m a fan of slapstick so others might not find this too funny. Of course if you could laugh your way through Airplane! then you should be able to at least chuckle your way through this.

The Big Bus came out in 1976, a full four years before Airplane!, so it’s easy to assume that Airplane! got a few of its jokes from this strange but somehow funny film. It had an all-star cast for the time and featured as many jokes as could be packed into the film, but with the passage of time and the onset of comedy that’s considered a little more high brow than anything that’s come before any memory of The Big Bus has likely faded from most people’s minds. A lot of movies suffer from this bout of forgetfulness since the nature of Hollywood is to always move onto the BBT, the Bigger, Better Thing. If a film isn’t popular any longer then it’s bound to be forgotten.

Even Airplane! has been getting referenced less and less throughout the years, and at one point it was considered to be one of the funniest movies ever made. Even the famous line that Leslie Nielsen coined, “Don’t call me Shirley”, has been used less and less when it used to be spoken all the time, no matter if it was warranted or not. That’s the way things however and the fact that The Big Bus isn’t known by a lot of people isn’t too surprising. People tend to move on from one thing to another without giving much thought to what they’re leaving behind, especially if it’s something that’s not seen as absolutely essential to their existence.

To date The Big Bus has been recognized as a cult classic, which essentially means that those that know about it love the movie and will talk about to anyone that will listen. When it first came out however it had mixed reviews as some praised it will others attempted to blast it to pieces just for having been made. It didn’t do well in the box office unfortunately, but in 1976 there were a lot of movies coming out that it had to contend with, and a half-baked disaster movie didn’t stand much of a chance.

It’s still important to revisit these films from time to time however, if only to remember where certain films really got their inspiration. It might seem like a lesser movie in some regards but it was definitely funny for its time.

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