The director of the off-color 1980 film Airplane! slammed Hollywood for killing comedy by being too woke

David Zucker, 75, told PragerU that film executives were ‘destroying comedy’ because they are too afraid to upset a fraction of the population who ‘don’t have a sense of humor.’

The director’s comments come just months after Monty Python icon John Cleese also called out Hollywood for neutering creativity with its woke crusade.

Zucker, who’s films also include the Naked Gun series and a pair of Scary Movie films, said Hollywood was so sensitives that Airplane! could have been made today only if they removed all the jokes.

Airplane! is rife with decidedly non-PC humor, including a scene where two black characters are given subtitles as they speak ‘jive’ back and forth to each other.

David Zucker, 75, told PragerU that film executives were ‘destroying comedy’ because they are too afraid to upset a fraction of the population who ‘don’t have a sense of humor’

Zucker's 1980 comedy Airplain! is known for its no-holds-barred off-color humor

Zucker’s 1980 comedy Airplain! is known for its no-holds-barred off-color humor

Speaking in an interview with PragerU, Zucker said that he and his writers never worried about offending people when working on their classic comedies, but that he eventually felt forced to change his ways. 

‘We could be as offensive as we liked. We went where the laughs were,’ he said. 

‘We never thought that we were offending anyone, but if we were offending people, we knew we were on the right track.’

‘As time went on, it got to be the nineties and the two-thousands and it did change. We never worried about any of this stuff with the ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Scary Movie’ films.’

Speaking in an interview with PragerU, Zucker said that he and his writers never worried about offending people when working on their classic comedies

Speaking in an interview with PragerU, Zucker said that he and his writers never worried about offending people when working on their classic comedies

Airplane! is rife with decidedly non-PC humor, including a scene where two black characters are given subtitles as they speak 'jive' back and forth to each other

Airplane! is rife with decidedly non-PC humor, including a scene where two black characters are given subtitles as they speak ‘jive’ back and forth to each other

Leslie Neilson sprays some mustard on Priscilla Presley in the Naked Gun, Zucker's 1988 film

Leslie Neilson sprays some mustard on Priscilla Presley in the Naked Gun, Zucker’s 1988 film

He also recalled working on a spy satire comedy and being aghast when a Hollywood executive told him that a joke which he thought was ‘pure oatmeal’ was pushing the envelope too far.   

‘My current writing partner and I wrote a parody of James Bond and Mission: Impossible.’ Zucker said. ‘One female executive said, ‘This joke is getting pretty risqué.” 

‘It was a mild joke about the lead female character, because she had come up through the police department and FBI, she said she needed a breast reduction to fit into the kevlar vest.’

‘It was pure oatmeal, so mild,’ Zucker said of the joke. ‘Not one of our funniest things, but this was too much. I thought, ‘If this was the criteria for it, we’re in big trouble.’ 

A young David Zucker shooting on the set of one of his famously uproarious comedies

A young David Zucker shooting on the set of one of his famously uproarious comedies

A scene from Airplane! in which a pedophilic pilot presses a young boy about his experience with naked men

A scene from Airplane! in which a pedophilic pilot presses a young boy about his experience with naked men

David Zucker's 1991 film The Naked Gun 2 is replete with off-color jokes and humor

David Zucker’s 1991 film The Naked Gun 2 is replete with off-color jokes and humor

Zucker concluded that Hollywood was killing comedy by pandering to a minority of sensitive audience members.   

‘They’re destroying comedy because of nine percent of the people who don’t have a sense of humor.’

He said Airplane! could never be made today. 

‘When we do screenings of ‘Airplane!’ we get the question if we could do ‘Airplane!’ today. The first thing I could think of is sure, just without the jokes.’

Monty Python star John Cleese has slammed woke culture for having a 'disastrous' effect on comedy

Monty Python star John Cleese has slammed woke culture for having a ‘disastrous’ effect on comedy

The actor, 82, said he does not believe comedians have the freedom to be funny anymore, blasting today's cancel culture as the 'death of creativity' (pictured in Monty Python)

The actor, 82, said he does not believe comedians have the freedom to be funny anymore, blasting today’s cancel culture as the ‘death of creativity’ (pictured in Monty Python)

In July, John Cleese warned that wokeism was killing creativity not just in film, but in all of comedy.

The veteran funnyman, 82, told Fox News he does not believe comedians have the freedom to be funny anymore, blasting today’s cancel culture as the ‘death of creativity.’

‘A lot of comedians now are sitting there and when they think of something, they say something like, ‘Can I get away with it? I don’t think so. So and so got into trouble, and he said that, oh, she said that.’ You see what I mean? And that’s the death of creativity.’

Cleese acknowledged that his audience tends to be older and less sensitive to jokes that may cause offense to certain sections of society.

Zucker, who's films also include the Naked Gun series and a pair of Scary Movie films, said Hollywood was so sensitives that Airplane! could have been made today only if they removed all the jokes

Zucker, who’s films also include the Naked Gun series and a pair of Scary Movie films, said Hollywood was so sensitives that Airplane! could have been made today only if they removed all the jokes 

Airplane! was released in 1980. Thought the film is considered a comedy classic, some say it is too offensive

Airplane! was released in 1980. Thought the film is considered a comedy classic, some say it is too offensive

Others in the industry have said wokeism is hurting the creative process as writers are tasked with ensuring their content isn’t offensive to various groups of viewers.

In a Substack article published earlier this year, a source told LA-based writers Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik that woke agendas within Hollywood are causing audiences to distrust the motivations of moviemakers.   

‘The audience stops trusting us,’ the source said. ‘They begin to see us as a community twisting ourselves into a pretzel to make every movie as woke as possible, every relationship mixed racially, every character sexually fluid, and they decide that we are telling stories set in a fantasyland instead of a world they know and live in.’

‘If that happens, and they decide to throw themselves instead into video games 24/7, we will lose them.’ 

In today’s world, movies such as Wizard of Oz never would have seen the light of day, one director said.

‘Munchkins? Forget it,’ he said.

Rocky would’ve also been told much differently since the opponent he defeated was black, the director said.



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