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Thinking of Airplane remineds me of the people who were supposed to be serious leading men but fumbled that gig, and made successful late-career moves into comedy: Leslie Nielsen, George Hamilton, Alec Baldwin. I'd love to know how this happens, how the actors make the change and how the industry buys in. How do go to the money men and say: "Here's a great idea -- George Hamilton doing a comic send-up of Zorro."?
And just to throw another of my quirky concerns in, why isn't there a book about the great straight men, Bud Abbott, Dean Martin, George Burns, Margaret DuMont, etc., and what it takes to be one?

Sarah TX

Oswald makes a great point in the part you quoted, but there's also this bit:

“Seeing the movie for the first time taught me a great lesson: You’ve got to play comedy as if it’s deadly serious. You’ve got to play weirdness as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.”
It's something that few post-modern satirists or parodists get right. Mr. Show with Bob and David is one of the few that does.

eric k


Another way I've heard for what made Leslie Neilson so good "he doesn't act like he is in a comedy"

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