David Zucker’s Tribute to Leslie Nielsen
David Zucker, who, along with his brother Jerry and Jim Abrahams, cast Leslie Nielsen in his first comedic role in Airplane!, penned a great tribute to the late actor for the Hollywood Reporter.
Arguably the best role was that of Dr. Rumack, played by the guy no one wanted or ever suspected would be funny, much less go on to have a second career starring in feature films as a goofball comic. Leslie was great in the role because he never “winked” — let on that he knew he was in a comedy. This was essential to the style, and Leslie had a natural instinct for it.