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Naked Gun Cast

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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…