An Afternoon with David Zucker and Robert Hays, featuring Airplane!
- Directed by: David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker
- USA, 1980, 88 minutes
- Rated PG
In 2012 the readers of Britain’s Empire Magazine dubbed AIRPLANE! the greatest comedy of all time—an accolade echoed by its appearances on lists from Bravo, the American Film Institute, ABC and People Magazine. Nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture: Comedy, AIRPLANE! set the standard for the spoofy cinematic confections that Mel Brooks started just six years earlier. Directing triumvirate “ZAZ”—Zucher, Abrahams, and Zucker—had already dipped their collective toes into the waters of absurdity with 1977’s The Kentucky Fried Movie, before tackling the strange tale of a PTSD-stricken fighter-pilot Ted Striker (a brilliant Robert Hays) who along with stewardess/ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julie Hagerty) and a “surely serious” doctor (Leslie Nielsen—playing against his tough-guy type) have to land a rogue Boeing 707 when the crew is felled by food poisoning. With uproarious supporting turns from Robert Stack, Peter Graves, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, and (“I guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue”) Lloyd Bridges, AIRPLANE! crash landed into the cultural zeitgeist and even today, 37 years after its premiere, remains the pinnacle example of its genre.
Mr. Hays and Mr. Zucker will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film.