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Film / Leslie Nielsen Golf Trilogy

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From 1993 to 1997, Leslie Nielsen starred in a trio of VHS tapes that poked fun at the "golf tips" video craze. Nielsen played a bad golfer who would teach the viewer how to bend the rules of golf to their advantage.

  • Bad Golf Made Easier (1993): In the debut video, Nielsen took a frustrated golfer named Billy under his wing. Among the tips he taught Billy included bribing the starter for a quick tee time, dropping the ball from a really tall height on a free drop, doing "pre-shot preparations" on a ball in the rough, and underhand-tossing a ball out of the sand trap, among many others.

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  • Bad Golf My Way (1994): In the second video, the "golf pro giving tips" angle is abandoned for a more conventional storyline: Nielsen observes cocky golfer Brad being a Jerk Ass in the club parking lot, and decides to stick it to him by partnering with him and giving Brad a taste of his own medicine. Interspersed with these set pieces are some words of wisdom from Nielsen in a fancy study. Trivia: Both this and Made Easier were directed by Rick Friedberg, who also directed Spy Hard.

  • Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Video (1997): The trilogy concludes with another video of golf course silliness.

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Tropes featured in these videos:

  • Bait-and-Switch: In Made Easier, Nielsen accidentally hits his ball through a condo owner's window. Instead of dropping another ball and taking a stroke, Nielsen hits the ball from inside the man's condo back onto the course. After breaking another window in the process, the man says, "Hey wait a minute!" when they try to leave. You think he's going to chew them out for breaking his window, but he's excited: "That's what I've been doing wrong! I need a seven iron off the carpet!"
  • Call-Back: In My Way, during one of the golf cart rides, Nielsen tells Brad, "Did you know Louis the XIV, the king of France, never bathed in his entire lifetime? Can you imagine how he smelled?" Later in the video, Nielsen told another anecdote: "You know, in the 16th century, King Philip the 2nd of Spain was laying a siege to a sea port town, and his daughter, Isabella, swore that until the town fell, she would not change her underwear. It took three years for that town to fall. Can you imagine if she and "No Bath" Louis the 14th got together, what a dynamic duo they would've been?"
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  • The Cameo: In Made Easier, Sonny Bono appears out of nowhere on a golf cart to say, "You the man, Leslie! I got you, babe!"
  • Captain Obvious: Used many times in Made Easier for comedy:
    Nielsen: When you stop your backswing at the top to look at the position of your hands, there are two things you learn: How many hands you have, and which hand has the glove on it.
    • And:
    Nielsen: The difference between a $1 ball and a $3 ball is $2.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Nielsen is portrayed as this throughout all three videos, but perhaps most prominently in My Way. One such example:
    Nielsen: It has been said that a woman with a man is like a fish without a bicycle. So it must be said that roses are red and violets are blue, and I'm a schizophrenic, and so am I.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: In My Way:
    Nielsen: The golf swing has been endlessly analyzed, and yet it still remains a mystery. And only one secret has emerged, one swing of thought that always works. And that thought is: Don't think. But you can't just forget not to think. You must remember not to remember to think. And you must not remember that you forgot to remember. It's a lot not to think about, but even if you sometimes forget not to forget not to think about your swing, there are ways to help your opponent remember to think about his.
  • Disguised in Drag: In My Way, Nielsen dresses as a woman in order to tee off from the ladies' tee. The caddy offers a dress to Brad as well, but he refuses.
  • Driven to Madness: The ultimate fate of Brad in My Way. He's carted away on a gurney while wearing a strait jacket and muttering happily.
  • Exact Words: In My Way, Brad gets annoyed at how Nielsen keeps making up crazy bets for golf, and wants to get back to basics: He wants to play by "all the rules". Nielsen and his caddy take this to mean all the rules in every type of sport ever made, which means Brad gets a penalty for delay of game, and Nielsen gets a free kick, among other things.
  • Funny Background Event: Watch Leslie Nielsen's shirt throughout Made Easier: The text on the back changes repeatedly.
  • Groin Attack: In Made Easier, a golfer tees off but the ball ricochets off an object and flies into the man's crotch.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Billy in Made Easier, who is so frustrated with his golf skills that he gets upset over the smallest mistake. This causes Nielsen to repeatedly tell him, "Keep your cool, Billy.", to the point that it's practically a catchphrase of Nielsen's.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Made Easier features a behind-the-scenes making-of featurette after the main program, and it includes outtakes.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Made Easier, one of Nielsen's tips is "Remember: The caddy is there to help you." But later in the video, one of the rules he states is: "It's always the caddy's fault!"
  • Insane Troll Logic: In Made Easier, Billy's ball is lost in the brush; just as Billy is about to bite the bullet and drop a fresh ball on the course (which would cost him a stroke), Nielsen argues that eventually, another golfer will find his lost ball, and since they're not going to give it to lost and found but will pocket it themselves, it's actually a "stolen" ball. He further argues that it's unconscionable that Billy should be penalized for this heinous crime.
    • Also in Made Easier, after Billy completely misses the ball on tee-off, Nielsen suggests that would just be his "practice swing" (thus, not costing him a stroke). He concludes with:
    Nielsen: Billy, if the ball moves when you swing, then it costs you a stroke. But if only the Earth moves, then, according to all of the laws of physics, the Earth, which is also a ball, albeit a very large one, then the Earth is charged a one stroke penalty.
  • Koan: In My Way:
    Nielsen: Does a tree that falls unnoticed in the forest make a noise? What is the sound of one hand clapping, or one mind snapping?
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: A weakness of Brad's, and which is exploited by Nielsen and caddy in My Way. One such example occurs when Brad accidentally hits his ball into the water hazard, and Nielsen is successfully able to coax Brad into hitting it out of the water instead of taking a penalty stroke.
    Nielsen: I think it would be impossible.
    Brad: Well, I don't know.
    Nielsen: If you can make that shot, that will go down as the greatest shot in golf history!
    Brad: Well get ready to see history made.
    [predictably, Brad is unsuccessful and wastes a ton of strokes in vain trying to do the impossible]
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Very noticeable in Made Easier when Nielsen does some elaborate gymnastics for his "warming up exercises".
  • Overly Long Gag: Sonny Bono is interviewed during the behind-the-scenes featurette in Made Easier, and rambles on for so long that the action cuts to something else. They repeatedly cut back to Sonny throughout the segment, who's still talking about the same thing.
  • Prima Donna Director: One of the set pieces in My Way involves Nielsen exhausting Brad by filming his swing. He goads Brad into taking nearly a hundred swings, due to Nielsen evolving into a picky director who films the swings from every conceivable angle and asks for multiple takes.
  • PSA: The Bad Golf Made Easier VHS contains an out-of-place PSA at the start of the tape, where a teenager rolls up a dollar bill to smoke with it.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The Masterpiece Theater-esque interludes in My Way feature various classical pieces.
  • Pun: One of the slogans on the back of Nielsen's T-shirt says: "How's my driving?"
    • In My Way, Nielsen says, "It's all a matter of knowing what makes your opponent tick." The next scene involves Nielsen pretending that their current hole is infested with deadly ticks.
    • In Made Easier, Nielsen asks Billy, "Gimme a tee." The caddy, suddenly in a cheerleader outfit, gives them a "T".
  • Rule of Three: In Made Easier:
    Nielsen: There are three key movements in golf: Keep your head down, keep your stupid head down, keep your damn stupid head down!
    • In the behind-the-scenes featurette in Made Easier:
    Sonny Bono: You the man, Leslie! I got you, babe!
    Narrator: For those of you Sonny Bono fans who missed his performance, here it is again.
    Sonny Bono: You the man, Leslie! I got you, babe!
    Narrator: And finally, in super slow motion.
    Sonny Bono: [slower speed and pitch] You the man, Leslie! I got you, babe!
    Narrator: Enough already.
  • Running Gag: In Made Easier, the golf course snob who keeps informing Nielsen and Billy about rules and etiquette.
    Snob: Excuse me, gentlemen, I hope you're not bothering our grounds under repair.
    Snob: Excuse me, gentlemen, you will be sure to rake that trap, won't you?
    Snob: Excuse me, gentlemen, proper tee etiquette dictates that you remain standing after shooting. (scoffs)
    • Nielsen and Billy get their revenge later on when Nielsen makes a lot of noise while the snob is trying to tee off. The snob blows his shot by accidentally hitting his expensive golf ball into the water hazard and goes in after it.
  • Self-Deprecation: The behind-the-scenes featurette in Made Easier veers into this.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Archie Hahn, as portrayed in the behind-the-scenes featurette in Made Easier.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Dorf on Golf.
  • Thirsty Desert: There's a throwaway gag in My Way where a guy is crawling through a sand trap like it's the desert, motioning for water.
  • Undercrank: Used in My Way during the "speed hole".
  • Your Other Left: In My Way, the caddy tells Brad that the green breaks left to right. Brad refutes this, and says it breaks right to left. Nielsen interjects:
    Nielsen: Brad, is that your right, or is it his? Because if it's your right, then you're right. But if it's his, then left to right is right, right? I mean, if you're standing this way, then it is your right, but if you're standing this way, then you're right!
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