Hocken: “Then, with the movie Airplane!, he totally changed his persona and became known primarily as a comic actor. The TV series Police Squad!, though initially unsuccessful, spawned his most famous roles a few years later in the “Naked Gun” movies. The films capitalized on his ability to deliver the most absurd lines totally deadpan.”
Norberg: “See, what I don’t understand is how he was able to say those lines without cracking up.”
Drebin: “Let’s see what they have to say about this down at the lab. Ted?”
Ted Olson (wearing slicked-back hair, glasses and a lab coat): “We’ve been able to come up with some answers. Let’s try an experiment. First, here’s Mr. Zucker. I’m going to tell him a joke and he’s going to try to keep a straight face. OK, Mr. Zucker, a gorilla walks into a bar, says to the bartender … “ (Ted continues whispering)
(Mr. Zucker laughs uproariously.)
Olson: “Now we’re going to tell the same joke to Mr. Abrahams. The only difference is that the corners of Mr. Abrahams' mouth have been stapled shut.” (Olson tells Mr. Abrahams the same joke. Mr. Abrahams, his mouth clamped shut, can only open his eyes wide and moan.)
Drebin (narrowing his eyes): “ I see.”
Al (a man so tall we can’t see his head on camera): “Lt. Hocken, the scriptwriters say we have to wrap things up.”
Hocken: “Thanks – say, what’s that on your head, Al? You know that’s not regulation headgear. Take that off.”
Al: “Yes, Captain.“ (A ceiling fan falls from above onto the floor).
Drebin (looking at the goat eating the paperwork): “So much paperwork. Sometimes I think I should go off and join the French Foreign Legion. Al, what was that movie about the French Foreign Legion?”
Al: “Surely, Beau Geste.”
Bo Jackson playing Norberg: “I don’t jest. And don’t call me Sh-“
Suddenly the Police Squad! theme song starts up, and everyone freezes, except for Drebin, whose portrayal by Leslie Nielsen onTV and in film has delighted fans around the world. The actor grins at the scene, shakes his head, and slowly walks toward the back till he disappears.
Leslie Nielsen (1926 – 2010)