Every movie buff may not rank Airplane! as the funniest movie of all time, but there’s no doubt that partners Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker have brought film comedy into the ZAZ age. Together or separately, they’re responsible for four movies in Entertainment Weekly‘s 100 Funniest Movies on Video (No. 1 Airplane!, No. 75 The Naked Gun, No. 89 Kentucky Fried Movie, and No. 93 Top Secret!).
Why, in their view, has Airplane!, the top-ranking flight farce, endured? Abrahams has the answer. ”It’s just bad moviemaking,” he says. ”In one shot in the airport you can see the grip putting cable down.”
What film would they choose as the all-time funniest? ”Probably Midway,” deadpans David. ”Or Airport 1975, or the Concorde one,” Jerry adds.
As writers and directors of three of the top 100 comedies (John Landis directed Kentucky Fried Movie), the ZAZsters may be considered true auteurs, but are there any little people they’d like to thank? ”The ones who are in the credits,” David says, ”but who didn’t really do anything.”
And is being named the creators of the funniest movie on video indeed the pinnacle of their ZAZ careers? ”Well,” David says playfully, ”we already have that giant vibrating dildo mounted on a plaque.”