Tinsel and Rot interrupts its autumnal hibernation to mourn the death and celebrate the life of inaugural Tinsel and Rot Hall of Famer Leslie Nielsen, who died Sunday at the age of 84.
I've written before about why Mr. Nielsen's career should be celebrated, but it's worth adding that there is likely no other actor who has made me laugh as much as he did (John Candy comes close, but I'm giving Mr. Nielsen the nod).
I had likely seen "Airplane!" before I saw the commercial for "The Naked Gun." So I knew a little bit about the Zuckers and Mr. Nielsen before that ad popped up on the Daszkowskis' TV on Margaretta Court in 1988. But I didn't know enough to be waiting in high anticipation for the movie. Until I saw the commercial. Then there was nothing in the world that I wanted to see more. There were sight gags, dumb jokes, and a lot of baseball. I was sold.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed. And I'm still not. It's definitely still All-Time Top 5 on my list. If that makes me a simple man, so be it. But, c'mon, the baseball scene cannot be topped:
The sequels had their moments, too (2 1/2 had more than 33 1/3, and had this), but the true joy for me after seeing the movie was discovering the TV show it was based on, "Police Squad." It is All-Time Top 3 on the TV list. In fact, after trolling YouTube for clips, I realized I need to break out the old VHS copy ASAP. But you can enjoy these, the first of which has the joke mentioned in the T&R HOF induction of Mr. Nielsen at the very end.
Still awesome. At least Mr. Nielsen will live on through his work.
Rest in peace, sir. Thanks for the laughs, both past and future.