Sometimes I see news of people I admire dying and it hurts in ways that require me to speak about it.
Every irreverent comedy that you see today owes its success to Leslie Nielsen and Mel Brooks. Anchorman would never have been made if Airplane! didn’t exist. This is history. History is influence. Your legacy is influence. Your books, your computer, this website, doesn’t matter unless it influences others. If your name is remembered, when your soul is remembered.
And now Leslie Nielsen is dead, from complications of pneumonia, at a very excellent age to die. And he lived his life well, humbly and Canadianly, never the kind of guy to boast or brag. And now we have comedians making spoofs in the same vein, but they’re just not the same. They’re cruder, less clever. There will never be another Airplane!. Ever. The brilliance, I suppose, is in that. And while Anchorman has quotable lines, they’re not punchlines, they’re just funny dialogue, which is fine, but it’s just not the same.
So with Leslie dead, a bit of that old style of comedy is dying. Maybe it’s for the best, but I seriously will miss the jokey aspect of comedy shows from the past fifty years. There will never be another Abbott and Costello. Never another Your Show of Shows. No more Sid Caesar. No more Neil Simon. That style just isn’t popular anymore with kids.
Anyway, it just saddens me when someone who has such influence on a generation of people who like to be funny (me included) dies. Rest in Peace, Leslie Nielsen! I would watch your movies but Netflix instant doesn’t have them. 🙁