Filmmaker David Zucker was one of the biggest names in comedy in the 1980s thanks to the success of classic comedies like “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” franchise, but he no longer believes either film could be made by Hollywood in 2022. Well they could, “just without the jokes.” In a new interview (via Mediaite), Zucker said Hollywood is “destroying comedy” by being overly sensitive.
“We could be as offensive as we liked,” Zucker said about his directing career, which also included helming “Scary Movie 3” and “Scary Movie 4.” “We went where the laughs were. We never thought that we were offending anyone, but if we were offending people we knew we were on the right track. As time went on, it got to be the ’90s and the 2000s and it did change… We never worried about any of this stuff with the ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Scary Movie’ films.”
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Zucker revealed that at least one film executive recently balked at one of his unmade scripts because it included a joke about a female character needing a breast reduction.
“My current writing partner and I wrote a parody of ‘James Bond’ and ‘Mission: Impossible,'” Zucker said. “One female executive said, ‘This joke is getting pretty risqué.’ It was a mild joke about the lead female character, because she had come up through the police department and FBI, she said she needed a breast reduction to fit into the kevlar vest.”
“It was pure 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 criteria for it, we’re in big trouble.’ They’re destroying comedy because of nine percent of the people who don’t have a sense of humor.”
Zucker concluded, “When we do screenings of ‘Airplane!’ we get the question if we could do ‘Airplane!’ today. The first thing I could think of is sure, just without the jokes.”
The director hasn’t released a feature film project since 2008’s “An American Carol,” a satirical comedy that parodied documentarian Michael Moore. Zucker did serve as a writer on 2013’s “Scary Movie 5.” His next writer-directorial effort, “The Star of Malta,” is a noir spoof that does not yet have a release date.
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