Surely it’s not that old

'Airplane!' anni has smooth take-off

HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 million for Par, especially given that the disaster spoof was plagued by disaster at various points of production. “We were first-time directors, we had no idea what we were doing,” Jerry Zucker admitted.

In order to secure pic’s three-way directing credits, Jerry Zucker said he legally changed his name to “Abrahams and Zuckers,” so if the DGA turned down their petition, the credits would read correctly.

Of casting for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s part, David Zucker said, “We were trying to get the film financed for so long, originally it was Pete Rose.”

The L.A. Lakers pro said he was enticed by the prospect of poking fun at his own serious image, and so “I could say I was in a movie with Lloyd Bridges and Ethel Merman.” According to Jerry Zucker, his agent would not negotiate down from a $30,000 payout. “‘Kareem wants to buy a rug,” was the reasoning.

“To this day, whenever I fly, pilots always ask me if I want to tour the cockpit,” Jabbar said.

More Scene

  • Hong Chau American Woman

    'Downsizing' Star Hong Chau on Men and #MeToo: 'I Don't Want to Tell Somebody What to Say'

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

  • Common Would Support Oprah for President

    Common Says An Oprah Presidency Would Bring America Back to 'Compassionate Leaders' That 'Care About Human Beings' (EXCLUSIVE)

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

  • SAG Awards Prep

    Sneak Peek at 2018 SAG Awards Post-Show Gala

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

  • Sundance Parties

    Sundance 2018: The Insider's Party Guide

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

  • '12 Strong' film premiere

    '12 Strong': Chris Hemsworth Hopes Film Can Reduce 'Misconceptions' About Afghanistan

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

  • Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig and

    Timothée Chalamet Says He'd Love to Work With Christopher Nolan or Guillermo del Toro

    HOLLYWOOD — Enduring cult laffer “Airplane!” saw its 25th-and-a-half anniversary feted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Friday night, with a screening and Q&A featuring co-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, plus thesps Robert Hays, Peter Graves and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No one involved ever expected the pic to gross $83 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content