Video of Police Squad? Yes I know.

Published on 1 June 2003 in ,

After a couple of days with glorious weather (well too hot for me really) today has been a little dull. Very warm, but dull, with intermittant rain. Ah the rain…

So with a few hours to kill, what better to do than sit in front of the TV watching some one of my all time fave TV programmes. Well I could have been doing all that web site stuff I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but that would be too much effort…

So Police Squad it was then.

Police Squad. In Color.

There can’t be many who haven’t come across the Airplane and Naked Gun movies. Both series went down as classics in the world of comedy films. There’s nothing particularly intelligent about them – they’re just extremely silly.

Indeed both Airplane and The Naked Gun were what turned Leslie Nielson from a serious actor (who stared in classic films like The Forbidden Planet – a futuristic drama based on The Tempest) into the actor who has set the standard in slapstic humour and delivery of very bad puns.

Silly fun.

The Naked Gun didn’t go straight to the cinemas though, and was born out of a comedy series from 1982 – Police Squad. Although only 6 episodes were ever made, the programme became a cult classic, although it took 7 or so years before the series transferred to the big screen.

Each episode may only be 24 minutes long, but every single trademark element of what became a series of three very successful films is there. The bad puns ("Cigarette? Yes I know."), the implasible plot lines (a mime being sent with ransom demands) and just plain silliness (oh watch it for yourself!).

Is this some kind of bust? It’s very impressive.

Not all the actors transferred to the big screen. Indeed very few did. Well actually two. One being Leslie Neilson in the role of Frank Drebin. In the original, Nordburg was a white man with black hair. In the film, he’d mysteriously transformed into Ojay Simpson.

But that’s not to say the performances of the actors in the original aren’t superb. Alan North is just sublime as Frank Drebin’s boss, Ed. And the man who played Jimmy, the shoe-shine bloke, was simply definitive.

And the jokes… Oh the jokes… You’ll recognise most of them, with them being recycled heavily over various films. And that’s what makes it even funnier.

Incidentally it’s worth mentioning what got me into the films in the first place. Remember those Red Rock cider ads with Leslie Neilson in them? Leslie playing a bumbling cop ala Frank Drebin. Tag line "It’s not red and there’s no rocks in it." What ever happened to that stuff? I don’t think I’ve seen it for years…