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Cult Classic Comedy Movies Airplane!: An Ode to Non-Stop Laughter and Absurdity

Have you ever watched a movie that left you chuckling days after the credits rolled? That’s how Airplane! makes you feel. This cult classic movie has been cracking up audiences since its release in 1980. Its non-stop laughter and absurdity have earned it a spot among the greatest comedies of all time. In this article, we’ll explore why this movie is such a hit with audiences and why it deserves to be on your must-watch list.

Why Airplane! Is One of the Best Cult Classic Comedy Movies

Airplane! is a masterclass in satirical comedy, a genre that is often hit or miss. This movie, however, hits all the right notes, parodying the disaster film genre in a way that, once seen, cannot be easily forgotten.

The plot centers on a commercial flight from Los Angeles to Chicago that runs into trouble when the entire flight crew becomes ill from food poisoning. The only person who can land the plane safely is former fighter pilot Ted Striker (played by Robert Hays), who has his own dark past to overcome. The rest of the movie is a hilarious series of puns, gags, and absurdity as they try to keep the plane and everyone on it from crashing.

What makes Airplane! stand out is the sheer number of jokes it packs into every scene. From visual gags to quick one-liners, each moment is a goldmine of laughs. The writers, Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers, are experts at taking seemingly innocent situations and turning them into comedic gold. Even the most earnest of dialogues are subverted by random comedic elements that will have you in stitches.

The Cast and Characters of Airplane!

Airplane! boasts an incredible ensemble cast of talented comedic actors. From Robert Hays as the hero Ted Striker to Leslie Nielsen as the stoic Dr. Rumack, each character is memorable in their own way. But it’s the supporting characters that take the movie to the next level.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar plays himself in the movie, as the co-pilot of the doomed flight. His cameo is both hilarious and unexpected. Lloyd Bridges also joins the cast as the over-the-top air traffic controller trying to guide the plane to safety.

Perhaps the best part of the characters in Airplane! is the absurd situations they find themselves in. From a woman giving birth to a guitar-playing nun, the crew and passengers on this flight are anything but ordinary. And the way they react to each situation keeps viewers laughing through it all.

Airplane!’s Influence on Pop Culture

Airplane! has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on pop culture. It inspired a new wave of spoof movies in the 80s, such as The Naked Gun and Top Secret! It also introduced a new type of humor, one that was unashamedly absurd and relied on visual gags as much as clever wordplay.

Airplane! has even permeated everyday language. Phrases such as “Don’t call me Shirley,” and “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking” are still commonly used today, decades after the movie’s release. It’s a testament to the staying power of this classic comedy.

The Legacy of Airplane!

After more than 40 years, Airplane! still stands the test of time. Its non-stop laughter and absurdity are what makes it a cult classic, worthy of being on every must-watch list. Its influence on pop culture is undeniable and its legacy is one that will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come.


Airplane! is a must-watch for anyone who loves a good laugh. Its combination of non-stop gags, puns, and absurdity makes it one of the funniest movies of all time. The cast of comedic actors, witty writing, and innovative humor makes it perfect for a night in with friends or family. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a movie that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

If you haven’t seen Airplane! yet, stop everything you’re doing and hit play. It’s a movie that is guaranteed to make you laugh until your belly aches. Give it a watch and find out why it’s one of the best cult classic comedy movies of all time.