This is one of those days I always feared would come. Leslie Nielsen has always been a personal hero of mine and now he’s gone at the age of 84. I remember seeing my first Leslie Nielsen movie back in the early, early 90’s – I think it was “Naked Gun 2 1/2” (yeah, I saw them out of order.) David Zucker’s films had such a great take on parody at the time, and it inspired me to spend a lot of my childhood drawing up spoof comics of my favorite movies (which are all stored in the bottom of my closet somewhere.) But it was always Leslie Nielsen (or Charlie Sheen) who truly made the films shine.
I think what separated Leslie Nielsen from other spoof actors is the fact that, much like his co-star Lloyd Bridges, he was a well-respected dramatic actor years before even starring in “Airplane.” He brought authentic talent and enthusiasm to his roles, so when he reminded someone not to call him Shirley, we would actually believe he thought people were calling him Shirley. The novelty of seeing this great actor take on such crazy roles pretty much launched his career for the next thirty years. And it’s not like today when spoofs just phone in D-list actors for their parts – for him, it all came down to the art of delivering the lines and keeping a straight face when he’s talking into a banana.
Anyhow, I dug out a rather good tribute to his career out of the hundreds that have recently swamped YouTube. Here’s a look at the life of a comedy legend:
I also found someone uploaded one of my favorite scenes from “The Naked Gun,” so watch and enjoy!
Leslie Nielsen, thanks for all the great memories.
In one of the more hyped-up new stories this year, a team of explorers claim to have found the remains of Noah’s Ark trapped inside a glacier on Mt. Ararat. They are “99.9%” certain it’s the real thing (of course, if I was working in the cold mountain air for the last decade and badly needed a research grant, I’d be 99.9% certain as well.)
Much like it is with any age-old mystery, this is one of those stories I want to believe. Partly for the historical event value, and partly because I want to see Nazis show up and try to steal it (hell, I’m still crossing my fingers that Atlantis shows up eventually.) Of course, with all things, practically every news source is quick to jump to vague conclusions on whether or not this a hoax, and whether they just found some old wood. Granted, everybody on the internet immediately becomes an expert on the subject without even being present at the site, but then who can blame them when Noah’s Ark gets discovered every few years?
Even if it is real, the discovery would be more “cool” than it is ground-breaking or controversial. Believers already think the boat exists, and non-believers can scientifically explain a boat. Either way, the irony of the universe will bring everything back to square one.
Nevertheless, faith and skepticism go hand-in-hand when it comes to finding the truth. So in regards to whether I can be convinced that this is THE Ark, here’s my ultimatum: prove the remains are part of a boat. A big boat. I don’t care if the cubit dimensions are wrong, if there was only enough room for two rabbits and a horse, or if it belonged to someone called Bill – just prove it’s a boat, and I’ll call it Noah’s Ark. Because honestly, I don’t think you’re going to find any other 4800 year-old cargo ships stuck on top of Mt. Ararat.
And if you happen to find a Lost Ark inside the Ark, don’t open it.