Lesley Nielsen: ‘You Might End Up Dead Is My Middle Name”

A collection of some favorite gags from Naked Gun, Naked Gun 2 1/2 The Smell of Fear, and Naked Gun 33 1/3 The Final Insult … and the don’t call me Shirley audio from Airplane.

Lesley Nielsen’s comedic breakthrough came with a supporting role in 1980’s Airplane!, a parody of Zero Hour!, Airport, and other movies that dealt with air travel. In Airplane! his deadpan delivery contrasted with the continual absurdity surrounding him. In the film when asked, “Surely you can’t be serious?”, he responds with a curt, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film that is the first in a series of films starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, and O. J. Simpson. The three films (the other two being The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult) chronicle the adventures of Nielsen’s character, the bumbling police Lieutenant Frank Drebin.

Lesley Nielsen later said in an interview that he had done many of his own stunts, saying, “You have an idea of how you’re going to do something, and it’s your vision… unless you do it, it really doesn’t stand a chance.” This movie grossed over $78 million at the box office and was well-received by critics. Ebert’s 3½–star review (out of four) noted, “You laugh, and then you laugh at yourself for laughing.”

I’m Lt Frank Drebin, Police Squad, and don’t let me ever catch you guys in America.