I never had the chance to watch episodes of Police Squad but I can safely say that The Naked Gun is one of the funniest television adaptations to roll through theaters. Leslie Nielsen’s comedic chops make this one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.
Leslie Nielsen is one of the best comedic actors of all time, in my opinion. There is simply something about his deadpan seriousness in ridiculous situations that makes me belt out laughing every time. Beginning his journey into comedy with the hilarious Airplane!, a movie that the horrible Scary Movie movie franchise and other lazy spoof movies have tried to copy, The Naked Gun works because of Nielsen’s ability to make fun of himself as a dramatic actor. The star power of Nielsen is what helps The Naked Gun get pushed from a really good comedy to a gut buster. Also OJ Simpson is in the movie. He’s actually pretty good and he gets so beat up that it justifies you supporting a movie that includes him.
I’ve gushed enough about Nielsen. The rest of the movie is a hilarious spoof of action movies and police procedurals that really lands. This is one of those movies that you watch and you say “now I get the joke” or “that’s where that’s from” because so many movies and television shows have copied or made fun of moments from this one. My favorite moments are some of the bits that just keep going. Like Frank Drebin forgetting to put the brakes on his car, thinking that it was stolen and causing it to go up in flames. Or peeing while mic’d during a press conference. The movie even has some more raunchy moments like a sex scene in which two characters wear full condom body suits. It is a movie that really lets it’s jokes simmer instead of just slapping improvised moments together and seeing what lands. Don’t get me wrong, this is stupid humor, but when stupid humor is done right, it is perfect.
The Naked Gun is quite possibly the second greatest spoof movie of all time (right behind Airplane! of course) and is maybe the best movie adaptation of a TV show of all time. It is a comedy classic that I keep going back to because it never fails to amuse me even after the fifth or sixth time.