Ah, Leslie, it’s sad to see you go from our world at the tender age of 84. Whether it was being a part of the funniest TV show in history ( Police Squad!) or being a part of the movie that proved Mel Brooks was no longer funny (Dracula: Dead and Loving it!), you were in there entertaining us, and so you get a send off from my blog.
Here now, the TOP SEVEN REASONS YOU SHOULD HAVE LOVED LESLIE NIELSEN.
#7 He was Canadian, God damn it.
Or should I politely say “Gosh Darn it.” ? Leslie was so damn Canadian his father was an actual Mountie and his brother was the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada in the mid-Eighties. Seriously, look it up.
#6 He was obsessed with his digital farting machine.
Brought it with him on talk shows, and used it as a prop wherever anyone might be annoyed by it. It was classy from moment one, and it stayed classy every time he let go with one. Here’s an easily found clip of Leslie “farting” on a British talk show.
#5 Leslie was an essential part of the great Canadian Conspiracy.
Back in 1985, CBC filmmaker Robert Boyd uncovered an astounding plot to overthrow the USA, secretly run by Lorne Greene, Lorne Michaels, and Leslie Nielsen. It involved infiltrating American show biz with the likes of Bill Shatner, Anne Murray, John Candy, and others..all of whom had to report back to this trio of evil Canadian masterminds. According to Lorne Greene, there was a reason ex-pat Canadians needed a “Green Card” to work in the States. One of the funniest documentaries ever made.
#4 He got paid to mess around with Priscilla Presley in the naked gun movies.
When the King of Rock and Roll dies, and you end up with his woman? You get to strut and crow, my friend. You get to strut and crow.
#3 Dr. Rumack from Airplane!, got half of the best lines in the film.
“Come with me, there’s something wrong in the cockpit.”
“The cockpit? What is it?”
“It’s the little room up front where they fly the plane. But that’s not important right now…”
#2 Leslie Nielsen was Captain Kirk before Gene Roddenberry thought of it.
In FORBIDDEN PLANET, Leslie played Commander J.J. Adams, who went to a distant world, made time with a swell gal, fought a mysterious scientist and a mysterious monster, and hung out with a cool robot. It’s proto-Kirk complete with the hand phaser. And Nielsen did it all with his own hair. Just a couple of years ahead of his time….sigh…
#1- leslie nielsen was the first person to publicly stick his ass into O.J.’s face.
I have no idea how often this is currently done to O.J. in prison, I haven’t seen the statistical weekly averages for this kind of behavior behind bars, or O.J.’s “free time” schedule, but the above Nielsen moment happened years before the idea of “assing” the once-beloved NFL star was popular.
Once again, Leslie was ahead of his time.
So for a lifetime of good memories, and for having an ass that was CLEARLY clairvoyant, Leslie Nielson, I SALUTE YOU.
With Love, from Ty the Guy.
Here now, your Leslie Nielsen comic book moment of zen:
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Being so humorous, that was probably the best tribute possible for his passing.
Steven G. Willis
I actually considered that. I didn’t want to be maudlin about a man dying in his mid-eighties who’d had so fun a run at show biz. So I opted for a slapstick tribute that focused on Nielsen’s sense of fun. I’m glad that didn’t offend….
Definitely the prototype Kirk in Forbidden Planet. I still love that flick. And I have the TPB of it from Innovation. Man, do I feel old now.
People will remember Leslie Neilsen for his comic performances which were classic … but he had a 30-year career as a leading man, action hero and character actor before he ever let loose with his funny bone. Curiously, one role I remember him best for was the part of General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox” of the american Revolution on the old Disney TV series.
I know, and I tried to give Forbidden Planet its due attention because of that . Oddly enough, when I first heard Leslie had passed away, I didn’t think of his comedy roles, or Forbidden Planet, I instantly thought of the Captain of the S.S. Poseidon, one of his smaller roles…
Personally, I like “Dracula: Dead and Loving It,” but that’s more as a Dracula fan than as a Mel Brooks fan. It’s more of a laughing-on-the-inside kind of thing, but I dig it. Oh, and how about his segment in “Creeptales?” Surely, that’s got to stand out in his filmography.
Re: Reason #6..
His little Farting Gizmo was not “digital” at all. I once saw him show the device to Letterman, on the old NBC ‘Late Night’ show.. I can recall Neilsen mentioning that the noisemaker (which looked like a small stainless steel cup with a rubber skirt on the edges) was in fact, a component used in modern-day cow-milking machines.. I don’t think he was making that part up. But as evidenced in his latter-day AIRPLANE films, he was pretty good at explaining ludicrous things, with a very straight face!
Yes, I also recall he had the original ANALOG farting machine back when he did the old Late Show, but Leslie was nothing if not up-to-date, and he did, in fact, switch over to a digital version a decade later. He showed off the digital version on an “Actor’s Studio” if I recall, and on other talk shows. It’s part of what made his dedication so impressive that he kept the fart noise as a trademark for literally decades.
I stand corrected, then..
You can’t BUY that kind of dedication nowadays!
Can anyone here give my any info on the photo of Leslie wearing a cowboy hat, I’ve seen a photo of him in planet hollywoods walls wearing it and pulling funny faces and would love some prints but I’ve no idea what or were the photo shoot came from. Thanks 🙂
Sorry…I found the photo online, and fell in love with it. (I assume you mean the “topless” photo of Leslie in the black cowboy hat.) There has to be thousands of photos of movie stars, and I doubt even they remember who shot what after a while…