Plane! director slams Hollywood for ‘destroying comedy’ and says his movie couldn’t be shot today


The movie director Plane! accused Hollywood of “destroying comedy” by trying to accommodate people with no “sense of humor”.

David Zucker co-wrote the 1980 comedy film after moving to Los Angeles in the 1970s when the city was “like a sleepy little town” compared to what it is today.

He started creating parodies of television commercials, but came up with the idea of Plane! after watching the movie H-houra 1950s film in which a pilot is forced to face his fear of flying when the crew of the plane he is traveling in falls ill.

Zucker’s parody of the film proved to be a hit and he has since worked on titles such as The naked gun franchise, horror movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, throughout a changing Hollywood scene.

In a discussion with PragerU, he explained that the creators of Plane! could be “as offensive as [they] loved” in the script, saying they “went where the laughs were” and “never thought [they] offended anyone.”

Zucker released Airplane! in 1980. Credit: Paramount Pictures

“If we were offending people, we were on the right track,” he explained.

However, as the 80s turned into the 90s and 2000s, what was deemed appropriate in comedy changed.

“Over time, that changed. We never worried about any of that with the Naked guns or even the Horror films,” he explained.

However, Zucker recalled one incident in particular that happened while he and his writing partner were working on a parody of james bond and Impossible mission.

“A female executive said, ‘This joke is getting pretty risky.’ It was a light joke about the main female character, because she had been through the police department and the FBI, she said she needed a breast reduction to fit into the kevlar vest. was pure oatmeal, so sweet.

Zucker said Hollywood is trying to meet people's needs
Zucker said Hollywood tries to cater to people “without a sense of humor”. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo

He added that the joke was not “one of the [their] the funniest things”, but thought that if it met the criteria for being “risky”, then they were “in big trouble”.

He continued, “They’re destroying comedy because of 9% of people who don’t have a sense of humor.”

Over 40 years after its original release, there continue to be screenings of Plane! and wonders if the creators could make the same movie today.

In response to this question, Zucker explained, “The first thing I could think of is safe, just without the jokes.”

Although it may not be received as favorably if it was brand new, Plane! remains a highly rated comedy today with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%.

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