Long Live Frank Drebin

by Shannen W. Coffin

The Corner wouldn’t be the Corner if we didn’t pause from debating North Korea and the collapse of the Irish economy to pay tribute to Leslie Nielsen, who passed away yesterday.  His turn as Dr. Rumack in Airplane launched a second career as a slapstick straight man par excellence.  A very short-lived, but brilliantly funny, Police Squad television series followed, and that led to the Naked Gun movies. There were all sorts of non-Zucker imitations as well, but if he had never done anything besides Rumack and Drebin, Leslie Nielsen would have delivered more laughs — and quotable lines — than most stand-up comics could ever dream of.  I thought of posting some of his better ones, but others have beaten me to the punch. (Warning: contains Leslie Nielsen nudity!) Rest in Peace, Lieutenant Drebin. And don’t call me Shirley.

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