I was saving this ceditra entry for another day when I had more of a better introduction.
I have been listened to The Nerdist podcast when on two occassions (Episode 43 with Chris Anderson of WIRED magazine and Episode 19 with Doug Benson), comedy films of days gone by were brought up in the conversation. Anderson spoke of how some movies he thought were funny back then don’t seem to hold up now and Benson spoke of how cool it was to watch Ghostbusters in a theater with an audience rather than at home via NetFlix.
I was waiting for a third reference on The Nerdist regarding classic comedy on the silver screen before I published the following entry but with the news of the death of actor Leslie Nielsen, I figured that, surely, the time was right.
November 5, 2010
My randomly chosen word from my dictionary is autopilot, a noun that means an automatic pilot.
Personally, I find that movie to be seminal in what it meant to be a comedy movie. Yes, there were comedies before Airplane!, but this was a movie like Duck Soup, City Lights, or Kentucky Fried Movie that was a real game-changer for the genre.
It almost seems a matter of faith for comedies now (whether on the big or small screen) to contain references to pop culture, have quick cuts, and be loaded with sight gags that double as puns. All these elements, I contend, were fused to perfection in Airplane! (and later in the televsion series Police Squad!). The likes of The Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama, and any number of kids shows produced by Disney or Nickelodeon have all been a direct beneficiary of the genius that is the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrams.
Because I am above a certain age, I am in that group of people who believe that nothing produced now is half as good as what came before. This most likely prevents me from seeing what the latest game-changer in comedy is.
One could say then that I was operating on autopilot.
Back to today and all I can say is thanks – it’s a word of gratitude, but that’s not important right now.