November 29th, 2010: Farewell Leslie
LESLIE Nielsen passed away this Sunday from pneumonia. And that sucks. We all die and the man was 84, but honestly, I don’t think I’d be as funny a writer without the brilliance of Leslie Nielsen in comedies like Airplane and Police Squad. I loved those movies as a kid and could watch them repeatedly. I still do. His quintessential straight man routine was not only the backbone of the comedies I love and enjoy to this day in him and in his successors, but his style of humor invariably seeps into the comedy fiction I write and into my main characters. In some ways, all my protagonists are him, straight men to the crap happening around them.
Farewell, Mr. Nielsen. You made the world laugh and pneumonia hardly feels like a fitting end for you. I expected you to go out with something worthy of your comic timing, but then who knows… maybe you’re still setting us up with the best straight-man punch line yet.