Leslie Nielsen on comedy, whoopee cushions, and Oklahoma
Former Oklahoman entertainment reporter Sandi Davis called me to tell me about meeting Leslie Nielsen in 1996, when the actor was promoting the film “Spy Hard.” She said he was very funny, and had a soft spot for Oklahoma. Sandi encouraged me to share the story, originally printed on May 24, 1996, in The Oklahoman, with current NewsOK readers. Nielsen died Sunday in Florida. Check out the story below.
- Matt Price
Comedy Irresistible Lure for Dramatic Actor
By Sandi Davis
LOS ANGELES – Leslie Nielsen quit playing it straight years ago.
Once a respected dramatic actor, Nielsen walked away from that to become one of today’s best loved buffoons, starring in send-ups of disaster movies, police dramas and now action thrillers.
His latest incarnation is as Dick Steele, Agent WD-40, in Hollywood Pictures’ “Spy Hard,” which starts today in Oklahoma City.
The Walt Disney Co. paid for reporters to come to Los Angeles to see the movie and interview the stars.
The movie, a daffy spoof of movies like “Cliffhanger,” “True Lies,” “In the Line of Fire” and all things James Bond, is full of slapstick, low humor and bad puns – and is good for some real belly laughs.
Nielsen good-humoredly went through his interviews squeezing a hand-size “whoopee cushion” at inappropriate times.
“I’m going for laughs and fun,” he said. “I’m through making serious decisions.”
The actor has a formula for his characters like Steele.
“They always must look credible, no matter how stupid,” he said. “Frank Dreben (from the ‘Naked Gun’ series) didn’t ever react because he didn’t see any of it happen. Steele is that way.”
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 19791Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 7602OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 6827Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 6472OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti won't amnesty Kendrick Perkins
- 5877Student shot dead during botched home invasion
- 4499Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 4468Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 4211Wild hogs continue to be a growing menace across Oklahoma
- 3402Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailers
- 3381Four burning questions - Was the Thunder's season a failure?
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients