Unfortunately, it’s true. Leslie Nielsen is dead. Very, very dead. And, yes, they did check to make sure. Nielsen died late Sunday night in Fort Lauderdale after a short illness.
Born in 1926, the Canadian-born Nielsen started out in the movies as a serious dramatic actor in such classics as “Forbidden Planet.” But it wasn’t really until 1980 and the release of the spoof classic “Airplane,” that Nielsen really vaulted into the public consciousness. Nielsen did something phenomenally well that some people can’t do at all: He played deadpan comedy like a pro. No matter how absurd the action around him, he was able to create a character that would take this thing absolutely seriously as if it actually made sense. That is not easy.
On a personal note, dudes, let me say that Nielsen was — to put it bluntly — absolutely brilliant in that movie. I should know. I saw it more than 65 times and saw parts of it hundreds of more and that was just in the summer of 1980 when it was released in theaters.
The movie was released during those years when I worked my summer job as a movie theater usher, concession counter chimp and popcorn popper for the General Cinemas chain at the Valley View Mall in Dallas.
“Airplane” was the perfect movie for me, full of great jokes, scatological jokes and quite dumb jokes. I laughed at them all. But none more so than those delivered by Nielsen.
“This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.”
“A hospital? What is it?”
“It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important now.”
Just seeing the face of Leslie Nielsen can make me smile even now. He will be missed.
And good luck to you, Mr. Nielsen. Wherever you are.
I’m bald. I say this without cringing. I mean, I’ve been losing my hair since I was near 16, so you’d think I’d have time to get used to the idea.
I even started shaving my head just so I could stop paying $8 every couple of months to have someone trim the few scraggles that messed up the even line of stragglers hanging over my collar.
The deal is, though, every couple of years, I stop shaving just to see what a head (partially) full of hair looks like and to see how much gray is growing in up there in place of what used to be red hair.
Now is just such a time. I actually stopped shaving this time because I had a bit of a bad head month. I kept whacking the top of my head against things, eventually causing a big mess up there. Now, not shaving won’t cover anything up because, let’s face it, there’s no hair growing up there anyway, but it will stop me bleeding when the razor slices through the healing spot.
So I’ve been growing out my hair for a couple of weeks now and I’ve found something interesting, dudes. When the wind blows, I can actually feel my hair move. And it’s something I think I miss.
Normally, when I feel hair move, it means I need to start trimming my mustache and — really — that’s not something we need to dwell on.
Finally, after 30 years of thinning hair, I think I’ve grown to miss having hair.
Wow. That was the very definition of a lack of profundity. Can you tell I’m in a bit of a post-Thanksgiving slump? Hopefully things will be better tomorrow.