Watch The Stars Of Airplane! Reunite To Promote Wisconsin Tourism

Here's a fact that I only just learned today: directors David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams all originally hail from the great state of Wisconsin. By itself, this probably can't even be qualified as "fun" trivia, but it does create a bit of context for this new Airplane!-themed ad put together to try and help increase tourism in the Badger State:

The Zuckers and Abrahams (best known by the directing-team acronym ZAZ) lent their filmmaking skills to Wisconsin's tourism board to make this fun little TV spot, and they brought along some impressive friends to help the whole thing be that much more special. Robert Hays reprises his famous role as ex-fighter pilot with a drinking problem Ted Stryker, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is back to play himself a.k.a. pilot Roger Murdock (who just can't seem to get enough of Wisconsin's beautiful landscapes). There's even a special appearance from Otto The Autopilot, who remains one of the few non-human actors to have his own entry on IMDb - though he and his balloon wife never got credit for their work in the non-ZAZ directed Airplane II: The Sequel:

Airplane II Otto

Having also made comedies like Top Secret!, Hot Shots!, and The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, the Zuckers and Abrahams are responsible for some of our favorite funny movies ever, but the sad truth is that they're all years removed from putting out their best work. Abrahams hasn't actually directed a film since 1998's Jane Austen's Mafia! (starring Jay Mohr), and his last credit as a filmmaker was as a writer on 2006's Scary Movie 4. The Zuckers have been a bit more productive over the years, but they've haven't really been producing on a high level either. David Zucker wrote and did some uncredited directing work on Scary Movie 5 in 2013 (his first movie since 2008) and Jerry Zucker hasn't helmed anything since 2001's ensemble comedy Rat Race.

Hopefully this video won't inspire any thoughts in Hollywood about doing another Airplane! sequel, but at the very least it should inspire some of you to break out your Blu-ray and DVD copies. In case you don't have a copy, though, you can head over to the second page for a collection of some of the best moments.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.