The director of the 1980 off-color film Airplane! slammed Hollywood for killing comedy by being too awake.
David Zucker, 75, told PragerU that movie executives are “destroying comedy” because they are too afraid to upset a fraction of the population who “has no sense of humor.”
The director’s comments come just months after Monty Python icon John Cleese also called out Hollywood for neutering creativity with his wake crusade.
Zucker, whose movies also include the Naked Gun series and a few Scary Movie movies, said Hollywood was so sensitive that Airplane! could only have been made today if they removed all the jokes.
Aeroplane! is full of decidedly non-PC humor, including a scene where two black characters are subtitled as they “jive” back and forth to each other.
David Zucker, 75, told PragerU that movie executives were “destroying comedy” because they are too afraid to upset a fraction of the population, who “has no sense of humor.”
Zucker’s 1980 comedy Airplain! is known for his uninhibited off-color humor
In an interview with PragerU, Zucker said he and his writers never worried about offending people when working on their classic comedies, but eventually felt compelled to change his ways.
“We could be as attacking as we wanted. We went where the laughter was,’ he said.
“We never thought we were offending anyone, but when we offended people, we knew we were on the right track.”
“As time went on, it became the 1990s and the 2000s and it changed. We never cared about that in the movies ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Scary Movie’.’
In an interview with PragerU, Zucker said he and his writers never worried about offending people when working on their classic comedies.
Aeroplane! is full of decidedly non-PC humor, including a scene where two black characters are subtitled as they “jive” back and forth to each other
Leslie Neilson sprays some mustard on Priscilla Presley in the Naked Gun, Zucker’s 1988 film
He also recalled working on a spy satire comedy and was appalled when a Hollywood executive told him that a joke he thought was “plain oatmeal” went too far.
“My current writing partner and I wrote a parody of James Bond and Mission: Impossible.” said Zucker. ‘A female director said, ‘This joke is getting pretty daring.’
“It was a lame joke about the female lead, because she came through the police and the FBI, she said she needed a breast reduction to fit the kevlar vest.”
“It was plain oatmeal, so mild,” Zucker said of the joke. “Not one of our funniest things, but this was too much. I thought, ‘If this was the criterion, we’ve got a big problem.’
A young David Zucker shooting on the set of one of his famous tumultuous comedies
A scene from Airplane! in which a pedophile pilot pushes a boy for his experience with naked men
David Zucker’s 1991 film The Naked Gun 2 is full of plain jokes and humor
Zucker concluded that Hollywood killed comedy by giving in to a minority of sensitive viewers.
“They destroy comedy because nine percent of people have no sense of humor.”
He said Airplane! could never be made today.
“If we do screenings of ‘Airplane!’ we are asked if we can use ‘Airplane!’ can do. Today. The first thing I could think of is sure, just without the jokes.’
Monty Python star John Cleese has criticized wake culture for having ‘disastrous’ effect on comedy
The actor, 82, said he doesn’t believe comedians have the freedom to be funny, calling the current cancellation culture the “death of creativity” (pictured in Monty Python)
In July, John Cleese warned that wakeism was killing creativity, not just in film, but in all comedy.
The veteran prankster, 82, told Fox News he doesn’t believe comedians have the freedom to be funny, calling the current cancel culture the “death of creativity.”
“There are a lot of comedians sitting here now and if they come up with something, they’re like, ‘Can I get away with it? I do not think so. So and so got into trouble and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that is the death of creativity.’
Cleese acknowledged that his audience is generally older and less prone to jokes that may offend certain sections of society.
Zucker, whose movies also include the Naked Gun series and a few Scary Movie movies, said Hollywood was so sensitive that Airplane! could only have been made today if they removed all the jokes
Aeroplane! was released in 1980. Thought the film is considered a comedy classic, some say it is too offensive
Others in the industry have said wakeism harms the creative process, as writers are tasked with making sure their content isn’t offensive to different groups of viewers.
In a Substack article published earlier this year, a source told LA-based writers Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik that Hollywood’s waking agendas are causing audiences to distrust filmmakers’ motivations.
“The public doesn’t trust us anymore,” the source said. “They’re starting to see us as a community twisting ourselves into a pretzel trying to make every movie as awake as possible, every relationship racially mixed, every character sexually fluid, and they decide we’re telling stories that take place in a fantasy land rather than a world they know and live in.’
“If that happens, and they decide to throw themselves into video games 24/7 instead, we’ll lose them.”
In today’s world, movies like Wizard of Oz would never have seen the light of day, said one director.
‘Munkkins? Forget it,’ he said.
Rocky would also have been told very differently, as the opponent he defeated was black, the director said.