Wall-to-wall jokes, gleeful innuendo, Leslie Nielsen, and endless quotability. All of that deserves commentary–in part because how often do you get PG-rated horse-fucking, blowjob jokes, and “the wrong week to quit amphetamines”?–but it’s the last part I’m going to concentrate on right now. Consider this a mini Taco Break: what’s your favorite comparatively obscure Airplane! quote?
Some candidates of my own:
The non sequitur of Dr. Rumack remembering that, of the dinner choices he had of steak or fish, he had lasagna.
“Listen, Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again.” / “We both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion!”
“I’ve never been so scared. But at least I have a husband.”
“It’s an entirely different kind of flying altogether.” In chorus, confused: “It’s an entirely different kind of flying.”
We’re lucky to have the quotes. It’s harder to bring the movie’s superbly zany visuals into everyday life, unless you want to 1) have a portrait of yourself painted in a dramatic pose so you can sometimes dramatically pose in front of it, 2) dump a bunch of light fixtures on an airport runway, 3) pour water all down the side of your face, 4) convince your pilot to wear basketball shorts, or 5) enthusiastically dance with a man who is urgently trying to tell you he’s been stabbed in the back. The non-stop on-screen goofiness on its own would be enough to make the movie last, and rightly so, but I’m most grateful for the quotes. They make our reality porous enough to let the absurdity slip in.