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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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

sweatsgiving
It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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