This is a sad day in the world of entertainment as the great Leslie Nielsen has passed away. Remembered best for Airplane and The Naked Gun movies, Nielsen was a prolific and gifted comedy actor whose talent will be sorely missed.
I’ll never forget Pump and I watching the original Naked Gun in the theatres together — I don’t think we ever laughed harder in our entire childhoods than we did that day.
From his impassioned scrubbing off of Mikhail Gorbachev’s birthmark to his going undercover as a delightfully frenetic umpire, Leslie Nielsen turned in a brilliant comedic performance as Lt. Frank Drebin and gave a generation of absurdist loving youths a movie they could watch time and time again.
Thanks to Leslie Nielsen, Pump and I learned that slapstick could be sidesplittingly funny and intelligent, that when done right there was virtually no subject that couldn’t be lampooned, and, of course, that the word “beaver” had a naughty connotation … even though it took us about 3 1/2 years to finally get the joke.