It's an entirely different kind of dying, altogether.
November 28, 2010 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Leslie Nielsen, dead at 84.

Famously known for his roles in the Police Squad! TV series and movies, and eternally remembered as the doctor from the movie Airplane!, he started out his career playing heavies. He's the guy who made straight men funny. R. I. P.
posted by pjern (310 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Surely you can't be serious.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:12 PM on November 28, 2010 [84 favorites]


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posted by stoneweaver at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2010


That man was too funny to die.
posted by idiopath at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by griphus at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Don't (sob) call me...(cries) Shirley.
posted by Balisong at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


But where was OJ Simpson?
posted by wcfields at 6:14 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well Leslie, I just want to let you know "Good luck"...we're all counting on you.
posted by sarastro at 6:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [19 favorites]


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.
posted by dzaz at 6:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [44 favorites]


We were all counting on him.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The last thing he said to me, "Doc," he said, "some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to get out there and give it all they got and win just one for the Zipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Doc," he said, "but I won't smell too good, that's for sure."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh no!

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posted by Increase at 6:17 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by TBAcceptor at 6:17 PM on November 28, 2010


Must have had the fish.
posted by Patbon at 6:17 PM on November 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


I loved him in "The Forbidden Planet". What a cool guy to have been able to parlay his natural seriousness into such a memorable comedy persona.

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posted by interrobang at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


This one's for the Zipper:

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posted by malocchio at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010


Patbon: "Must have had the fish."

No, I remember, he had Lasagna.
posted by pjern at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by MikeMc at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, no. Just the other night I rewatched the Golden Girls finale where he plays Blanche's uncle Lucas and ends up marrying Dorothy. Not one of his most famous roles, obviously, but an absolute delight to watch. What a loss.

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posted by polly_dactyl at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by No Explanation at 6:18 PM on November 28, 2010


A genuinely funny man. So many childhood memories of watching "Naked Gun" and almost crying with laughter. He'll be missed.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:19 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:19 PM on November 28, 2010


Aww.

There are no words, or quotes, sufficient.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:19 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by Lukenlogs at 6:19 PM on November 28, 2010


In his memory, I'll have the lasagna.

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posted by Rory Marinich at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I also have fond memories of the Naked Gun movies.

so sad.

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posted by janepanic at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 6:21 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by Gorgik at 6:22 PM on November 28, 2010


A true comedian -- I am sorry to hear this.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:22 PM on November 28, 2010


R.I.P.

All right, nothing to see here, move along. Please disperse.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 6:22 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, shit.

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posted by rtha at 6:23 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ZeusHumms at 6:23 PM on November 28, 2010


Him as Frank Drebin as Enrico Pallazzo massacring the National Anthem at the baseball game is my favorite set up and delivery comedy bit in moviedom. Also great in Poseidon Adventure and, as mentioned, Forbidden Planet. A fine serious actor who was willing and able, as a comedic actor, to play it just 1 degree off of straight.

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posted by dirtdirt at 6:23 PM on November 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


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Awww.
posted by hoodrich at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by routergirl at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by fungible at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010


A hospital, what is it? ... oh, damn.
posted by zippy at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't wanna be that guy, but Leslie had a long career with many quirky eras. I wish this FPP had been more fleshed out.

RIP.

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posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have this mental image of St. Peter pointing at the approach up to the Pearly Gates, going "It's Enrico Pallazo!"
posted by pjern at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


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posted by firemonkey at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010


I guess we can stop calling him Shirley. RIP Leslie Neilsen.
posted by butcher at 6:25 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by roll truck roll at 6:26 PM on November 28, 2010


Another shout-out for his role as the captain in Forbidden Planet. I just rewatched the film recently and was struck by how much it felt like a prototype for Star Trek, and other more seriously-intended movie/TV SF. Before he turned to comedy, Nielsen would've made a terrific Federation skipper.

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posted by Strange Interlude at 6:27 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by liza at 6:27 PM on November 28, 2010


I just want to wish him good luck. We're all counting on him.

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posted by Earthtopus at 6:27 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Id monster finally got him.
posted by JanetLand at 6:28 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


A man who truly understood how to be funny.

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posted by fire&wings at 6:28 PM on November 28, 2010


Complications from pneumonia? That's no way for a man to die.

A parachute not opening... that's a way to die. Getting caught in the gears of a combine... having your nuts bit off by a Laplander, that's the way I wanna go!

*sigh*

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posted by Cookiebastard at 6:28 PM on November 28, 2010 [16 favorites]


"Cigarette?"
"Yes, it is."

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posted by A dead Quaker at 6:28 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


I remember seeing him in a MASH episode and waiting for the entire episode for it to turn zany and madcap like that movie, Police Squad. Instead, it was sad and disturbing like that movie, Police Academy.

But seriously, the anticipation and constant unsureness whether THIS line was the "delivered straight, with a twist" one seems like some kind of tribute to his special genius.
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on November 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


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posted by moonbird at 6:29 PM on November 28, 2010


Seriously? Damn.

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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:29 PM on November 28, 2010


Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit amphetamines.
....
Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.
posted by butcher at 6:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]



posted by gomichild at 6:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [50 favorites]


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posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:30 PM on November 28, 2010


Nice beaver.
posted by ColdChef at 6:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


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posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2010


My friend put it best, "RIP Leslie Nielson, hopefully you are dead and loving it".

A horrible, saddening loss.
posted by dsa at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by d1rge at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by HostBryan at 6:32 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by lampshade at 6:34 PM on November 28, 2010


He's just holding still for that final Police Squad! credit scene.

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posted by benzenedream at 6:35 PM on November 28, 2010 [26 favorites]


Shit. My heart just doubled in weight.

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posted by zardoz at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by galadriel at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2010


*bangs ring in tribute*
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"What is this, some kinda bust?"
"Yes, very impressive."

Dammit, I loved Leslie Nielsen. Rest in peace, man.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:38 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


His "Something To Tide You Over" segment in Creepshow was such a change for me when I had only seen him in comedies like Airplane.

Egotistical, smugly manipulative, alternately remorseful and self-assuring as he watches his wife and her lover drown by remote; panicky, then, when seaweed-draped Ted Danson burbles out "We dug a hoooole for you, Richard!" after which Richard's straying dead wife cheerfully and wetly adds in, "On the beach!" his expression turns to pure terror as their plans sink in that they are going to have him sunk in, just as they were, finally cracking back to that mad ego as he screams out "Oh I can hold my breath for a long, long time!" — that whole segment was his, and not a chuckle in it.
posted by adipocere at 6:38 PM on November 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


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posted by grouse at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2010


I blame him for the popularity of movie parodies that weren't funny, but this is mostly unfair since he was in few of these. The man spawned a genre. Few people can lay claim to that.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by Phssthpok at 6:40 PM on November 28, 2010


As a server in a dinner theatre, I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Nielsen several times. He was charming, congenial and pleasant every time. I never called him Shirley.

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posted by alltomorrowsparties at 6:41 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Nice Beaver.

Thanks, I just had it stuffed.
posted by thusspakeparanoia at 6:41 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


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posted by gingerest at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2010


One of the few celebrity deaths it seems not just appropriate, but downright proper, to tell jokes about.

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posted by lodurr at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Leslie had a long career with many quirky eras. I wish this FPP had been more fleshed out...

So link to some stuff.

I'm only disappointed that this post's title wasn't "Dead and Loving It."
posted by hermitosis at 6:42 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, damn.

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And none of his starring roles are available on Netflix streaming, either. Guess I'm putting in the Creepshow DVD.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:44 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ecco at 6:44 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by jgaiser at 6:47 PM on November 28, 2010




Like many, I grew up watching Nielsen play his perfect deadpan. What a great run.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:48 PM on November 28, 2010


I want to mention his turn in Creepshow. He was really great as a murderous cuckold who gets a ghostly comeuppance.

Plus, if you can get past the lousiness of the movie, he does some neat stuff with the Dracula role in Dead and Loving It.

I always liked him.
posted by Trochanter at 6:49 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by condour75 at 6:50 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by R343L at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by jeffkramer at 6:51 PM on November 28, 2010


"Who are you and how did you get in here?"
"I'm a locksmith... and, I'm a locksmith."

I bought Police Squad! on DVD several months ago but haven't got around to watching it yet. I think a (regrettably short) marathon of the series is in order.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:52 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by vibrotronica at 6:53 PM on November 28, 2010


Lambykins.
posted by gjc at 6:56 PM on November 28, 2010


I fell in love with him in Tammy and the Bachelor. Ah, that voice; his timing; handsome and boyish.... I'm really going to miss him. He left a great film history.
posted by threadbare at 6:58 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


*sniff* I do like movies about gladiators.
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posted by msbutah at 6:58 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by mistersquid at 6:59 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by strixus at 7:00 PM on November 28, 2010


There's an animated version of the story of The Nutcracker. It's pretty meandering and mediocre overall, but he did the voice acting for the Mouse King, and Fred Willard played his assistant. There's one part where Willard's mouse says to the Mouse King, "Surely you can't be serious," and the Mouse King replies, "We don't do that anymore." I remember giggling like a school girl at that part, and it made the movie worth watching. Sad to see him go.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:01 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


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posted by New England Cultist at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by germdisco at 7:05 PM on November 28, 2010


My dad had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Nielsen a few years ago. When the subject of Forbidden Planet was brought up, Leslie said it was a dream of his to remake it as a musical, but he was having trouble getting it made. I would have loved to see that.

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posted by buriednexttoyou at 7:05 PM on November 28, 2010


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:-(
posted by katillathehun at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2010


The man could even make a commercial enjoyable.

Thanks for everything, Leslie.
posted by orange swan at 7:06 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


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Man, this makes me feel old. Sad to see him go.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ambulance blues at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:08 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by klangklangston at 7:08 PM on November 28, 2010


Leslie Nielson farts during morning TV interview.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 7:08 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by disclaimer at 7:10 PM on November 28, 2010


Ah man, I had no idea that he was 84 or that was he in poor health. Sorry to see him go.
posted by librarylis at 7:11 PM on November 28, 2010


So many laughs, so many tears. Tears of laughter, that is. You will be missed, sir.
posted by dhammond at 7:11 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by smoke at 7:12 PM on November 28, 2010


I'd watched Airplane approximately 100 times by the age of 10.

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posted by dmd at 7:15 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've heard it said that comedy is the toughest genre in acting, but he was a master.

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posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:16 PM on November 28, 2010


"My name is Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant, Police Squad. There'd been a recent wave of gorgeous fashion models found naked and unconscious in laundromats on the West Side. Unfortunately, I was assigned to investigate holdups of neighborhood credit unions. I was across town doing my laundry when I got the call on the double killing."

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posted by logicpunk at 7:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by Donnie VandenBos at 7:17 PM on November 28, 2010


Goodyear?
No, the worst.

I used to think it was easy for him to "just" play as straight as possible. But watch Shatner in Airplane 2. He can't do it. Nielsen had every bit the instincts and the timing of a lifelong comic actor.

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posted by PlusDistance at 7:18 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Until now I had no idea he was Canadian. I am a bad Canadian.
posted by tehloki at 7:21 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


239 acting credits, dating back to live television drama in the early 50s.

The man was a pro.

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posted by Joe Beese at 7:22 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by MythMaker at 7:23 PM on November 28, 2010


So... he was traded to the Cubs for Reggie Jackson?
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 7:23 PM on November 28, 2010


He said unfunny things in an unfunny way. And people laughed.

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Today a thousand beautiful women in a thousand red dresses trip a thousand times as they descend a thousand staircases.

Also, did Airplane 2 totally call the pornoscanner or what?
posted by stet at 7:23 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not only Canadian, but the brother of Erik Nielsen. You can hear the brothers doing their schtick here with Peter Gzowski (Windows Media Player plug-in required).
posted by maudlin at 7:24 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by valkane at 7:25 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Mister_A at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ahdeeda at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2010


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To this day, the hardest my mom has ever laughed in my presence is during the scene in The Naked Gun where Drebin/Nielsen is stumbling around outside the bad guy's apartment and winds up hanging from...a very particular part of a male statue.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can somebody translate this news into jive for me?

Sad, sad, sad. Dude was certainly talented, and not just funny. I even remember his small but chilling part as the scuzz who raped (tried to rape?) Barbra Streisand's character in Nuts. "I like to bathe girls." Brrr.

Unfortunately, the last thing I saw him in was that wretched Superhero Movie. They just don't know how to make that kind of movie anymore.
posted by Gator at 7:26 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


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Cigarette?
Yes, I know.
posted by MasonDixon at 7:27 PM on November 28, 2010


I've been swimming in raw sewage. I love it. I LOVE IT!

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posted by mattbucher at 7:31 PM on November 28, 2010


One of my favorite moments is in The Poseidon Adventure. He plays the captain of the Poseidon, and there is a moment when the wave is bearing down on the ship. Just before it hits, he turns to his first mate and says "Oh, by the way, happy New Year."

I think it was intended to be ironic and sad, Doesn't come out that way, though.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:32 PM on November 28, 2010


I've found the Naked Gun movies to be hysterically funny, amazingly un-dated, and almost infinitely re-watchable - they are almost timeless, as are the 6 episodes of Police Squad. Nielsen was really a brilliant comedian, one of a kind, and incredibly endearing. I will miss him.

Here are a few favorites - many (all?) of these lines could only have been uttered by Nielsen:

Frank Drebin: Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.

Frank Drebin: It's fourth and fifteen and you're looking at a full-court press.

Frank Drebin: "Mr. Burton, we have men combing the entire lakefront area. If your daughter is close, we'll find her."
Warner: "The lakefront? My God, do you know how big that area is? My daughter's a needle in a haystack!"
Frank Drebin: "That's not true. I've seen a picture of her, she's very attractive."

Dutch Gunderson: Who are you and how did you get in here?
Frank Drebin: I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith.

[Frank recalls a prior love] - I'd known her for years. We used to go to all the police functions together. Ah, how I loved her, but she had her music. I think she had her music. She'd hang out with the Chicago Male Chorus and Symphony. I don't recall her playing an instrument or being able to carry a tune. Yet she was on the road 300 days of the year. In fact, I bought her a harp for Christmas. She asked me what it was.

Ed Hocken: We heard about you and Jane.
Frank Drebin: Jane, Jane. That name will always remind me of her.

Quentin Hapsburg: Do you gamble?
Lt. Frank Drebin: Every time I order out.

Busty Female Shop Assistant: Is this some kind of bust?
Lt. Frank Drebin: Well, it's very impressive, yes, but we need to ask you a few questions.

Lt. Frank Drebin: Now, Jane, what can you tell us about the man you saw last night?
Jane Spencer: He's Caucasian.
Ed Hocken: Caucasian?
Jane Spencer: Yeah, you know, a white guy. A moustache. About six-foot-three.
Lt. Frank Drebin: Awfully big moustache.

Jane: How about a rain check?
Frank: Well, let's just stick to dinner.

Ed: A hunch won't stand up in court, Frank. What we need are hard facts.
Frank: Look, Ed. Ludwig was the only one besides us who knew Nordberg was still alive. Next thing you know, some thug tries to knock him off in the hospital.
Ed: Yeah, but going into Ludwig's office without a warrant, you're taking a big chance.
Frank: I know. You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street or sticking your face in a fan.

Frank: Sorry we would have come earlier but your husband wasn't dead then.

Tony: Your Bishop is exposed.
Frank - It is? These pants ... I usually wear a looser cut.
posted by ORthey at 7:36 PM on November 28, 2010 [20 favorites]


Leslie Nielsen dies, and the Riders lose the Grey Cup. Bad night for Reginans. :(
posted by evilcolonel at 7:38 PM on November 28, 2010


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I'm bummed :-(
posted by Calzephyr at 7:38 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by brennen at 7:40 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by antgly at 7:41 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by sarcasticah at 7:43 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:45 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by item at 7:46 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ants at 7:48 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by stoneegg21 at 7:49 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by chebucto at 7:52 PM on November 28, 2010


Priscilla: (Seductively) Nightcap?
Nielsen: I'm sorry, I don't wear them.

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posted by ninazer0 at 7:53 PM on November 28, 2010


Leslie Nielson farts during morning TV interview.

He never went anywhere without his fart paddy and broke it out on several talk shows.

Respect.

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posted by victors at 7:53 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


'Who are you and how did you get in here?'
'I'm a locksmith.
And, I'm a locksmith.'


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posted by clavdivs at 7:56 PM on November 28, 2010


Aw, man.

What always gets me about Leslie Nielsen's career is that he didn't even do comedic roles until Airplane!, when he was 54.
posted by dfan at 7:58 PM on November 28, 2010


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I just want to say, Leslie wherenever you are....good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by gcbv at 7:58 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by TrialByMedia at 7:58 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Michael Roberts at 8:00 PM on November 28, 2010


from one canadian to another, rest in peace, eh
posted by edmcbride at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2010


Wow. I'm so sad. He was one of the greats, and he really reminded me of my grandfather (who is still with us, thank goodness).

Here's to you, Leslie.
posted by brundlefly at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2010


The world has lost another genuinely funny man, and we need all of those we can get. Thanks for the laughs, and RIP, Leslie.

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posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 PM on November 28, 2010


He's swimming in raw sewage in Heaven now. :'(
posted by Eideteker at 8:03 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by hortense at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2010


And loving it.
posted by Eideteker at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by gingerbeer at 8:05 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:05 PM on November 28, 2010


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Nielsen as a singing, farting Mountie (mostly after the 3 min. mark).
posted by asperity at 8:05 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It'd be pretty funny if he'd put it in his will that his headstone should simply read SHIRLEY
posted by tzikeh at 8:06 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


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posted by i_have_a_computer at 8:07 PM on November 28, 2010


This sucks.
posted by milestogo at 8:07 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by miss-lapin at 8:10 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Frank: It's the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girls dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.
Jane: Goodyear?
Frank: No, the worst.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:11 PM on November 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


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posted by SuzySmith at 8:12 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:13 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by sswiller at 8:13 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on November 28, 2010


"I have this mental image of St. Peter pointing at the approach up to the Pearly Gates, going 'It's Enrico Pallazo!'"

"Here lies Enrico Palazzo." (Pallazzo?)
posted by Eideteker at 8:15 PM on November 28, 2010


This is what I felt like when I read this post.

I just saw NG last weekend...and man, I totally remember why I loved his work as a teen.

You'll be missed.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:16 PM on November 28, 2010


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I just want to say, Leslie wherenever you are....good luck, we're all counting on you.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:18 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by tribalspice at 8:19 PM on November 28, 2010


Many years ago, in the early days of cyber-space, I actually took part in a scheduled online chat on GEnie with Leslie Neilsen. He was very friendly and happily answered everyones questions, including mine. The man was a class act.


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posted by smoothvirus at 8:19 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by doogyrev at 8:20 PM on November 28, 2010


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MIr-S6mwFk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTcR9Gzvwf8

(I love that rendition of the American National Anthem. Way better than most of us 'Murricans would do with the Canadjun National Anthem.)
posted by Eideteker at 8:20 PM on November 28, 2010


Oh right, MeFi doesn't auto-linkify URLs.

[mods hope?]
posted by Eideteker at 8:21 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by sudasana at 8:23 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Iridic at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2010


Damn...

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It's settled then, Leslie Neilsen movie marathon next weekend.
posted by spish at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by UseyurBrain at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2010


Good-bye, Sgt. Frobisher. We will remember you every March 11th.

Ride Forever.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will laugh at his passing, just as he laughed exiting Platoon.
posted by sourwookie at 8:27 PM on November 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I'm sorry for your loss, ma'am. We would have come sooner, but your husband hadn't been murdered yet."

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posted by bakerina at 8:27 PM on November 28, 2010


hats off in respect to a great actor/comedian who spanned 50 years of good work, and living into his 80's. he could have done some funny stuff as a standup comic, but dont recall any skits.
posted by tustinrick at 8:29 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by graymouser at 8:33 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by XMLicious at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2010


A memorable comedian. Glad I got to witness his skillful playfulness.

Bon voyage Leslie. Condolences to your friends and family.
posted by nickyskye at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by starvingartist at 8:40 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by dbiedny at 8:42 PM on November 28, 2010


victors: "fart paddy"

My old barman had the pleasure of taking Leslie out to dinner when he visted Australia and said that he was that funny in real life. Treated him like a Hollywood star and took him out to one of the best eateries in Melbourne, a sombre and exclusive place.

And he farted the whole evening away.

My friend was in hysterics just telling the story.

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Side note- I had to ask him if he saw the device and Leslie wouldn't let him see it. So if anyone knows where to get one I want one.
posted by bdave at 8:47 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by IvoShandor at 8:49 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ob at 8:49 PM on November 28, 2010


Mayor: Now Drebin, I don't want any trouble like you had on the South Side last year, that's my policy.
Frank: Well, when I see five weirdos, dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's *my* policy!
Mayor: That was a Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of 'Julius Caesar,' you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:52 PM on November 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


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posted by juv3nal at 8:55 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Issithe at 8:55 PM on November 28, 2010


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I just watched "Zero Hour!" the other day, and kept picturing him playing the analogous role in Airplane!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:58 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Airplane was the first movie I went to without parent accompaniment. Of course it was many years later before I was aware of the comic genius my friends and I had witnessed; but we call each other Shirley, still.
posted by sharpener at 9:00 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Kinbote at 9:01 PM on November 28, 2010


"I just saw NG last weekend...and man, I totally remember why I loved his work as a teen."

Seriously. Compare his comedic timing with some of the stuff you see in these "Teen Movie" films.
posted by Eideteker at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2010


Leslie Nielsen arrives at the river Styx.

CHARON: Do you wanna take a dinghy?

LESLIE NIELSEN: No, l took care of that at the press conference.
posted by brundlefly at 9:06 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


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posted by Schlimmbesserung at 9:07 PM on November 28, 2010


Until now I had no idea he was Canadian.

Not only was he Canadian, he was Erik Nielsen's brother.
posted by tangerine at 9:09 PM on November 28, 2010


:-|
posted by bwg at 9:13 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Halloween Jack at 9:14 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by bicyclefish at 9:17 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by klausman at 9:27 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by dancestoblue at 9:38 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by vverse23 at 9:39 PM on November 28, 2010


I'm honored just to be able to leave a comment in this thread. What a wonderful guy he was. Brought a lot of laughter to me personally.
posted by banished at 9:55 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by mike3k at 9:58 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by h00py at 10:01 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by ktrey at 10:04 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by /\/\/\/ at 10:09 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by dragstroke at 10:13 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Lynsey at 10:13 PM on November 28, 2010


Goodnight, Funny Face.

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posted by the painkiller at 10:16 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


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posted by TooFewShoes at 10:19 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by seawallrunner at 10:19 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by m0nm0n at 10:27 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by scody at 10:34 PM on November 28, 2010


bdave So if anyone knows where to get one I want one.

I always assumed he got it from a foley guy
posted by victors at 10:38 PM on November 28, 2010


My man are working around the clock....


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posted by DreamerFi at 10:41 PM on November 28, 2010


The thing that came to my mind first was his sampled voice used in Boards Of Canada - Dandelion
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 10:47 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Mblue at 10:56 PM on November 28, 2010


I got mine at Spencer's twenty years ago. I think my first wife threw it out. She hated that thing.
posted by faceonmars at 10:57 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by lapolla at 11:07 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by nooneyouknow at 11:09 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Xoebe at 11:23 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by Mitheral at 11:28 PM on November 28, 2010


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posted by GatorDavid at 11:52 PM on November 28, 2010


Mook: I've got a message for ya, from Vincent Ludwig!

Drebin: I'm sorry, I can't hear ya. Don't fire the gun while you're talking.


RIP Mr. Nielsen. You were a straight man like no other.
posted by Schwartz_User at 12:12 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by jiroczech at 12:14 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:15 AM on November 29, 2010


Ten years ago, I saw Nielsen perform in Clarence Darrow: A One Man Play. Very well-done and very moving. It was a revelation to me, as I had previously only known (and appreciated) him from the Naked Gun films. RIP.
posted by dhens at 12:17 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by WhackyparseThis at 12:50 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by IndigoRain at 12:58 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by _Lasar at 1:00 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Pendragon at 1:02 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Chichibio at 1:28 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by dealing away at 1:36 AM on November 29, 2010


Thanks for all the laughs.
posted by fixedgear at 2:21 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by iviken at 2:30 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by genehack at 2:42 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by bardophile at 2:51 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by molecicco at 2:55 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by sueinnyc at 2:57 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by biffa at 3:38 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by klausness at 4:01 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by wiskunde at 4:12 AM on November 29, 2010


I'm going to see if I can get our dog to grab my leg and rub up and down in tribute.

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posted by maxwelton at 4:20 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Acey at 4:30 AM on November 29, 2010


Heard about his passing this morning.


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posted by Thorzdad at 5:05 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by sandraregina at 5:12 AM on November 29, 2010


I'll always be grateful to Leslie Nielsen for making jokes that made my dad and I laugh together—few movies did this. Let's hear it for cross-generational gross humor!
posted by theredpen at 6:09 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by Feisty at 6:12 AM on November 29, 2010


Nielsen starred in a number of British television commercials for Red Rock Cider - in the style of (and reusing gags from) Police Squad!, with the strap line "It's not red, and there's no rocks in it."
posted by Electric Dragon at 6:13 AM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 6:19 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by pointystick at 6:40 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by jquinby at 6:48 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by usonian at 6:51 AM on November 29, 2010




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posted by cass at 6:53 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Silvertree at 7:23 AM on November 29, 2010


We'll miss you.
posted by Go Banana at 7:36 AM on November 29, 2010


Teh funnay just doesnt have the same ring to it today. I loved this guy. Never failed to make me laugh.

Thanks, man.

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posted by perilous at 7:48 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by ahimsakid at 7:48 AM on November 29, 2010


It's an entirely different kind of dying.



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posted by Spatch at 7:49 AM on November 29, 2010


Airplane is one of my favorite movies, but he was great in most everything that he did. I don't think it's been linked yet, so here he is doing the intro to Monday Night Football a few years ago.
posted by thewittyname at 7:54 AM on November 29, 2010


Leslie did a series of PSAs in the past several years for the Ontario March of Dimes, a charity that assists adults with physical disabilities, with which my family has decades-long involvement. (One of my proudest moments in writing life was writing a joke to be delivered by Leslie in one of his speeches for our events; I was still in university and couldn't believe my words would be coming out of his mouth.) I remember when some of the first PSAs were coming out; it was the same time as a new Leslie Nielsen movie's release, in which the man absolutely destroys the life of this fellow in a wheelchair. The juxtaposition could have been horrifying, but it wasn't, because it was *Leslie Nielsen*. The man was never wary of making fun of himself for a good cause (I couldn't find the funnier ads online), and for that, among other things, I'll always think of him fondly.
posted by ilana at 7:55 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


from hero to comedian, he showed the great actors can do all things well.

Jack: What's going on? We have a right to know the truth!

Rumack: [to the passengers] All right, I'm going to level with you all. But what's most important now is that you remain calm. There is no reason to panic.

[Rumack's nose grows an inch long]

Rumack: Now, it is true that one of the crew members is ill... slightly ill.

[Rumack's nose continues to grow longer and longer; al la Pinocchio]

Rumack: But the other two pilots... they're just fine. They're at the controls flying the plane... free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.

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posted by djrock3k at 7:59 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by tommasz at 8:09 AM on November 29, 2010


More Forbidden Planet love here.

Altaira: [swiming in a pool] Come on in.
Commander John J. Adams: I didn't bring my bathing suit.
Altaira: What's a bathing suit?
Commander John J. Adams: [quickly turning his back] Oh, murder!

So long Leslie! ;_;
posted by Scoo at 8:11 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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posted by madh at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by jlbartosa at 8:26 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by kuppajava at 8:42 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 8:57 AM on November 29, 2010


I loved reading all of the tributes to the great Leslie Nielsen in this thread. I certainly cherish my copies of "Police Squad!" and won't forget being a kid and seeing "The Naked Gun" on the big screen. RIP Leslie!

Now, about reading all of the tributes on this page.. it would've been great if I didn't have to laboriously scroll past a thousand fucking DOTS to actually read the tributes that took thought and a bit of effort to write. Boy, what a pain it must have been to type a few words out! Whew!
posted by ReeMonster at 8:59 AM on November 29, 2010


it would've been great if I didn't have to laboriously scroll past a thousand fucking DOTS

Surely you can't be serious.
posted by grouse at 9:02 AM on November 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Doctors said he had a 50/50 chance of living, though there was only a 10 percent chance of that.

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posted by hellbient at 9:03 AM on November 29, 2010


Few non-golfers know the impact this piece had on the sport.

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posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 9:45 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by alby at 9:45 AM on November 29, 2010


"Now, about reading all of the tributes on this page.. it would've been great if I didn't have to laboriously scroll past a thousand fucking DOTS to actually read the tributes that took thought and a bit of effort to write. Boy, what a pain it must have been to type a few words out! Whew!"

I agree, ReeMonster, but that battle's been fought and over for some time now. I'm of the opinion that folks should say something meaningful (to them; it doesn't need to be profound) or else stay quiet. The endless procession of periods is like everyone getting up one by one at a funeral as if to say a eulogy, only to stand at the front of the room, looking out at the assembled mourners, before quietly returning to one's seat. It's an odd and artificial custom, but one which is deeply ingrained in MeFi culture and is not likely to go anywhere. But you and I can take solace in the fact that we'll probably never be famous enough to be memorialized in such a bizarre and unnecessary fashion.

So, there's that.
posted by Eideteker at 9:47 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The endless procession of periods is like everyone getting up one by one at a funeral as if to say a eulogy, only to stand at the front of the room, looking out at the assembled mourners, before quietly returning to one's seat.

The dots are the people who wish to be present even though they have nothing to say, sitting quietly in the pews listening to those who do.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:03 AM on November 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


that's a good analogy, dirtdirt. in the pews.

i'm personally not into the dot thing, and suspect that many dot-posters aren't so deeply moved. but I'm also pretty sure that some are, and for myself i'd rather respect that than punish people who do something i see as insincere. and anyway, who would i be to judge the sincerity of someone else's regret?

what i feel really bad about right now is that I don't have a way to turn this into a Leslie-Nielsen-appropriate gag...
posted by lodurr at 10:15 AM on November 29, 2010


Ever seen a grown man naked?
posted by QueerAngel28 at 10:21 AM on November 29, 2010


How the F did I miss this news? That sucks. Always liked him, didn't matter which role I saw him in - he never failed to make me smile.

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posted by caution live frogs at 10:40 AM on November 29, 2010


Ever seen a grown man naked?

I'm pretty sure Peter Graves died in March.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:44 AM on November 29, 2010


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Just before it hits, he turns to his first mate and says "Oh, by the way, happy New Year." I think it was intended to be ironic and sad, Doesn't come out that way, though.

Actually it did come across to me as ironic and sad, which just shows you how great an actor he was.

It must have been so strange for him for only to be known for leading serious roles a la Tammy, and then suddenly finding himself inventing a whole new genre of comedy. It would be like Lady Gaga suddenly being known for Shakespeare or something.
posted by Melismata at 10:46 AM on November 29, 2010


It always amazed me that he had such a wonderful time spending the second half of his career making fun of the first half of it.
posted by djfiander at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Leslie Neilsen was an intensity around an emptiness. Above all, he feared exposure as a solipsistic fraud, and that’s what he was, at least as a actor. He took too many roles about too many things, pretending an interest in the world, a love of the world, that he simply didn’t have. Josh Hartnett, a good actor, admitted that he experienced this life as mainly boredom and fear. Perhaps if Neilsen had admitted that he felt the same, he might have spared himself the playacting of his thinly garrulous, pointlessly broad characters. It must be a very sour thing to hear again and again that one is “hilarious” and a “great comic actor” when one is obviously neither.
posted by hermitosis at 10:48 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Gelatin at 10:50 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Snyder at 10:58 AM on November 29, 2010


One of the most painful episodes of my life was going to see Airplane the day after I'd had 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. It was hard to watch Nielsen films after that because of the associations.

I should try watching some of them again ...
posted by Araucaria at 10:58 AM on November 29, 2010


Nobody's mentioned my favorite Naked Gun moment yet: the bit where the doctor that is about to kill Nordberg throws a pillow in Drebin's face. It's not on YouTube or else I'd link to it. It's such a fantastic piece of physical comedy.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:05 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]




I saw him play Clarence Darrow, too, at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. The man was phenomenal. I'm going to miss him.

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posted by Zozo at 11:34 AM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Mental Wimp at 11:38 AM on November 29, 2010


He was a giant of the comedic and dramatic arts. A rare talent, indeed. I think I know what my next guys' movie night will be like.

Also, hermitosis: are you serious? Am I missing a gag, are you trolling, or what?
posted by yiftach at 11:39 AM on November 29, 2010


yiftach, see here.
posted by zarq at 12:08 PM on November 29, 2010


Thank you, zarq. I was certain this was a reference to SOMETHING, I just didn't know what.
posted by yiftach at 12:18 PM on November 29, 2010


You're very welcome. It took me a couple of moments to figure out where I had seen it before, too.
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM on November 29, 2010


That to which hermitosis refers...:
David Foster Wallace was an intensity around an emptiness. Above all, he feared exposure as a solipsistic fraud, and that’s what he was, at least as a writer. He wrote too many words about too many things, pretending an interest in the world, a love of the world, that he simply didn’t have. Philip Larkin, a good writer, admitted that he experienced this life as mainly boredom and fear. Perhaps if DFW had admitted that he felt the same, he might have spared himself the playacting of his thinly garrulous novels and essays. It must be a very sour thing to hear again and again that one is a “genius” and a “great writer” when one is obviously neither.
... which doesn't answer yiftach's question, of course...
posted by lodurr at 12:29 PM on November 29, 2010


damn you, preview...
posted by lodurr at 12:30 PM on November 29, 2010


damn you, preview...

...but that's not important right now...
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM on November 29, 2010


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posted by joedan at 12:44 PM on November 29, 2010


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posted by Ber at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2010


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posted by bouvin at 4:16 PM on November 29, 2010


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posted by saslett at 6:32 PM on November 29, 2010


theredpen, I know what you mean about Nielsen and your father.

When my father was in decline from dementia, and it would be hard for him to enjoy much (he could no longer focus on reading, and most movies were too complex to sit through) I would quote lines from Airplane! or set him up for the "Don't call me Shirley" punchline, and those few words would bring him joy. He would smile and laugh, really crack himself up, and I would laugh with him, genuinely laugh what was sometimes the only laugh of my day because the rest of it was nothing but a big box of suck rocks.

Thank you, Mr. Nielsen. Perhaps you'll meet my dad; he was a fan.
posted by ltracey at 7:19 PM on November 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


For 25 years the guy plays the straight man, and then reinvents himself completely. Awesome.
posted by deCadmus at 9:27 PM on November 29, 2010


First Peter Graves, then Barbara Billingsley, now Leslie Nielsen.

Watch your back, Robert Hays.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:27 PM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]




RIP Enrico Pallazzo.
posted by jabberjaw at 3:19 PM on November 30, 2010


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posted by aerotive at 7:21 PM on November 30, 2010


I'm glad I used turning 33 1/3 as an excuse to force my friends to watch Naked Gun 33 1/3.
posted by Lokisbane at 12:31 AM on December 1, 2010


Leslie Nielsen’s 1961 Visit to Disneyland Park

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posted by Sailormom at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2010


"Saying unfunny things in an unfunny manner and magically having the result be funny is an incredibly hard trick. And nobody ever did it better."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:43 AM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


a sad day for comedy nerds
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2010


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