Tag Archives: Jerry Zucker

The Set of 400: #210 – My Favorite Condiment Flirting

Today! Because since I’ve met you, I’ve noticed things that I never knew were there before… birds singing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stoplights –

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

Directed by David Zucker (x3)

Starring Leslie Nielsen (x2), Priscilla Presley (x2), George Kennedy (x2), O.J. Simpson (x2), Ricardo Montalban, Nancy Marchand, Susan Beaubian, Raye Birk, Weird Al Yankovic (x2), Reggie Jackson, Lawrence Tierney (x2), Mark Holton (x2), John Houseman (x3), Ed Williams (x2)

I didn’t start this list with the intention of it devolving into a Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker fan page, but man, it sure feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it? Between #276 Hot Shots!, #355 Top Secret!, #218 The Kentucky Fried Movie, #398 Ghost, and #314 The Naked Gun 2 1/2, they are occupying a bunch of slots here in the first half of the list. Is it just me? Do these movie still hold up? They don’t really make this kind of comedy much any more, and the ones they do roll out are super low budget nonsense, in the Not Another… vein. Does this avalanche of sight gags and puns and boobs not play with the modern audience?

Angie Tribeca is pretty great, though

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The Set of 400: #218 – My Favorite Feel-Around Theater

Today! Because I’m not wearing any pants – film at 11 –

The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

Directed by John Landis (x2)

Starring Donald Sutherland (x5), Henry Gibson (x2), Bill Bixby, George Lazenby, Victoria Carroll, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Barry Dennen, Marilyn Joi, Tony Dow, Manny Perry, Stephen Stucker, Michael McManus (x2)

The earliest of the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker films – albeit one they didn’t direct, The Kentucky Fried Movie, just by the nature of the film, is hugely hit and miss. Instead of wrapping sight gags and shocking jokes around a plot – like Airplane!, Top Secret!, or Police Squad! – they got their start with an 83-minute bundle of movie and commercial parodies, surrounding the main feature concept “A Fistful of Yen,” which is the one bit that goes on far too long and delivers the lowest payoff.

But The Kentucky Fried Movie is more funny than not across its run time, and has always tickled me. I’ll admit – I’ve still never seen The Groove Tube, often credited with creating this feature length concept of a collection of sketches, so for me, KFM has always been the gold standard. From the wacky newscaster teasing the nightly broadcast – “Rams plagued by fumbles as earthquakes rock Los Angeles. Film at eleven.” – to the thrilling features of Samuel L. Bronkowitz – “If you were thrilled by The Towering Inferno, if you were terrified by Earthquake, Then you will be SCARED SHITLESS at the Samuel L. Bronkowitz production of That’s Armageddon!” – I’ve always really liked most of this movie, which I know is a weird endorsement.

The mark of quality!

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The Set of 400: #398 – My Favorite Peter Noone Torture Device

Today! Because Molly, you in danger, girl –

Ghost (1990)

Directed by Jerry Zucker

Starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn, Vincent Schiavelli, Stephen Root

After two blood-and-guts knuckle fests, we’re going with Ghost?? Okay, come with me on this for a minute – I think a definite case can be made that Ghost is the most deceptively marketed film in history. Yes, it’s a romance, kind of, but that pottery scene is all anyone seems to remember about this movie, along with that floating penny, and those account for nearly all the lovey-dovey moments of the film. The backbone of the movie is this drug dealer reimbursing murder, masterminded by a wily Tony Goldwyn, countered by the ethereal Swayze, who has all these fish-out-of-water ghost mishaps, ghost skills training, and body possession sequences that vary from hilarious to just plain cool. The Sam/Molly relationship barely takes up any time, and yet Ghost became a sappy romance in the collective memory as time wore on. How funny is Whoopi in this movie? What about those evil spirits that snatch bad guys off to Hell? Come on! This is an action/horror comedy, soundtracked by the Righteous Brothers! Continue reading

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