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For someone like me, who saw Airplane! as a child, this movie holds a special place in my memory. It is quite literally one of the funniest movies ever, to the point where you can be on the floor, in stitches, before you get to the second act, and it just keeps getting better from there. What's even more unusual about Airplane! is that it's one of those films where you keep getting more and more of the jokes each time you watch it. As a kid, I completely missed such things as Captain Oveur's brazen pedophilia ("Jimmy, have you ever seen a grown man naked?") and the gag with the inflatable autopilot ("On the belt of the automatic pilot, there's a manual inflation nozzle..."), but years later there came a series of Swiss Moments when I realized just exactly what was going on and died laughing all over again.
Similarly, as an adult watching it for the first time, you may pick up on a lot of things that younger people would miss, such as the "Zipper" speech, the "radar range" joke * That's what the first microwaves were called., and so forth. The reason it works is because the jokes come at you so fast and so furiously that you will be laughing at the next one before you realize that you didn't get the one before.
The sequel is still funny, and manages to introduce some hilarious new elements like Joe Saluchi's bomb, the blatant 2001 Shout Outs, and William Shatner in all his glory, but it clearly suffers from the lack of the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker stamp and reuses a lot of the old gags. It's well worth watching, though, if you are anything like a fan of the first.
Both movies are eminently quotable, and one way to instantly break the ice at any social occasion is to start spouting lines such as "And stop calling me Shirley" and see who gets it.
Funniest movie ever? Surely you can't be serious.
I'm always serious. And stop calling me Shirley.
I guess I want double my money back, then.
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