Naked Gun Cast

The Naked Truth

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Naked Gun Movies

Catch a Naked Gun movie marathon Friday, August 12th starting at 6P during IFC's Rotten Fridays.

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Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

Comedy may be subjective, but if you don’t find The Naked Gun movies hilarious, you are dead inside. Sorry, the truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts. So, like a blind man at an orgy, let’s feel things out, and do a deep dive into everything Naked Gun.

10. Frank Drebin Didn’t Start Out On The Big Screen.

Police Squad
Paramount Television

The Naked Gun wasn’t the first time viewers got a chance to ride along with the intrepid Lt. Frank Drebin. He first appeared in Police Squad!, an ABC comedy series that was ahead of its time. Airing for only six episodes in 1982, it was canceled despite rave reviews from critics. Then ABC entertainment president Tony Thomopoulos told Entertainment Tonight that it was cancelled because viewers “had to watch it in order to appreciate it.” Um, we think what he meant was, unlike most of the sitcom landscape at the time, you actually had to pay attention to Police Squad! to enjoy it. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was a fan, saying “if Police Squad! had been made 20 years later, it would have been a smash.”


9. The Naked Gun Was Legendary Actor John Houseman’s Final Movie.

John Houseman
Paramount Television

Academy Award-winning actor John Houseman was coming to the end of his legendary career by the time he appeared in The Naked Gun, but no one knew how close the end actually was. From a cameo as himself in Scrooged, to his work helping to shape the screenplay for Citizen Kane, few have had as long and distinguished a career in Tinseltown as the legendary thespian. He was, unsurprisingly, the perfect pick to play the part of the droll driver’s ed teacher who found himself sucked into Frank Drebin’s orbit. Sadly, it would be his last part before passing away in 1988.


8. Superfan “Weird Al” Used His Naked Gun Roles To Impress Dates.

Weird Al Naked Gun
Paramount Pictures

Song parody genius and Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader “Weird Al” was a massive fan of Police Squad!. So when writers Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker heard about this, they immediately added a quick cameo for the “Eat It” singer. Al would go on to appear in each of the three Naked Gun films, and would even take dates to the movies without telling them he was in them, just to see their reaction. He would even wear the same shirt he had on in the flick just to mess with their minds. Oh, Al. Always the prankster.


7. Leslie Nielsen’s Funeral Paid Tribute to Frank Drebin.

Naked Gun Nothing to see
Paramount Television

Leslie Nielsen passed away in 2010 at the age of 84. A cutup behind the scenes, Nielsen was particularly famous for carrying around a fart machine, and letting it go off at the most inopportune times. So he surely would have loved his own funeral, which saw the Naked Gun theme play as Canadian Mountain Police carried his coffin.


6. Slapstick Master Mel Brooks Contributed a Gag.

Mel Brooks
20th Century Fox

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mel Brooks was a fan of The Naked Gun movies. In fact, he even pitched a joke that made it into the first flick. When Frank Drebin went undercover as a Major League umpire all sorts of delightful hijinks ensued, including a bit where he gets hit in the head with a player’s bat. That’s right. Brooks himself came up with that joke, just to kill some time.


5. Robert Goulet Had An Odd History With His Leading Lady.

Naked Gun
Paramount Pictures

Priscilla Presley was an outside-the-box choice to play Frank’s love interest, considering she was best known as Elvis Presley’s ex-wife. So it must have been especially awkward when she found herself taking part in a love triangle with none other than Robert Goulet in The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear. Elvis once famously shot his own TV, because he didn’t want to watch Goulet singing on it. The King supposedly hated Goulet, who boasted of “personally taking care” of Elvis’ girlfriend Anita Wood while Presley was away in the Army. Fun fact: that TV has since become a collector’s item.


4. O.J. Simpson Scored a Razzie in 1995. Also, some other stuff happened…

OJ Simpson
Paramount Pictures

When O.J. was cast in the first Naked Gun movie, he was a sports legend and burgeoning movie star. By the time Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult came out, he was famously on trial for murder. The Golden Raspberry Awards honored him for Worst Supporting Actor in what would be his final film role.


3. Naked Gun 4 Almost Happened

Naked Gun
Paramount Pictures

David Zucker and Pat Proft, two of the writers behind all three Naked Gun movies, actually did write a script for a fourth Frank Drebin outing with the working title The Naked Gun 444.4. The plot would have centered on Drebin being paired with a new young female partner. Unfortunately, the two decided to take over the Scary Movie franchise instead. Still, Proft and Zucker may have a trick or two up their sleeves. In 2013 they wrote a script called Counter Intelligence, which they described as a Naked Gun take on the Mission: Impossible and Bourne movies, so Frank Drebin-style puns could live again.


2. Flashback Or Cost Cutting?

Naked Gun Wedding
Paramount Pictures

When the filmmakers decided they wanted to flashback to Frank and Jane’s wedding in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, they had a trick up their sleeve. The scene had actually been shot for The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, but was cut for time. But much like Native Americans, the Zucker Brothers believe in using all parts of the animal, or in this case, finding a way to work in a previous movie’s gags to save money.


1. Ed Helms Almost Played Frank Drebin.

Ed Helms
Warner Bros. Pictures

A few years ago, Ed Helms was announced as the next in line to play Frank Drebin. Unfortunately, little new information has come out since then. David Zucker himself turned down a chance to produce the film, which he said was veering away from the spoof style he had helped make so famous.

Helms wasn’t so sure what the movie would be, or if it would ever happen, telling Yahoo Movies, “[The new Naked Gun movie] is kind of in the grinding gears of Hollywood…You have to make something that a contemporary audience is going to like. We haven’t seen many of those slapstick movies in a while, so I’m not sure what the right angle is on it.” With Helms’ Vacation remake come and gone, we may have to wait awhile for any further exploits from the Police Squad!.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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