NaBloPoMo 2010 Day 28 — RIP Leslie Nielsen
Growing up in the ’70s, there are certain comedy classics that are a part of my DNA. That is, quotes from a handful of iconic comedies are indelibly fixed in my head. One of those quotes is “… and don’t call me Shirley” whenever I hear someone say something like “Surely, that isn’t how it happened” or “Surely, you can’t be serious,” I can’t help but think:
I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
That quote is one of many legendary lines uttered by Leslie Nielsen in the movie Airplane! — one of those classic comedies from my childhood.
Nielsen died today.
And it’s not that I admired the man or thought he stood for some cause that I support. It’s just that his comedic roles made me laugh, and they remind me of my childhood. As I age, more and more people that “I grew up with” have taken their last breaths. It makes me pause.
The thing about Nielsen that I’ve always found humorous is the straight, deadpan way he delivered his hilarious lines. I like Stephen Colbert (his politics aside) for the same reason. Colbert owes a debt to Nielsen. Zach Galifianakis does too.
Many know Nielsen for his role as Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series of movies. But that character was first in a short-lived TV series in the early ’80s called Police Squad!
Here’s a clip from one of those episodes. RIP Mr. Nielsen.