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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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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.

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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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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.