We loved you, Leslie Nielsen, not just for your well-known roles as Lt. Frank Drebin of Police Squad! and the Naked Gun movies, and the high-flying Dr. Rumack in Airplane!, but for passing gas on live TV without shame and taking Dorothy Zbornak as a bride.
Here are our top ten favorite moments of the late, great Canadian actor.
10. “I am serious — and don’t call me Shirley.”
Nielsen was only known for his dramatic roles until the Zucker Brothers exploited his deadpan delivery in Airplane!
9. Nielsen farts during a television interview, and makes no effort to hide it.
Nielsen, always known for his off-camera jokes, has one on-air.
8. “I want you to know I practice safe sex.” “So do I.”
Nielsen covers his naked gun with an especially magnum-sized Trojan.
7. Singing “Besame Mucho”…with OJ Simpson!
This scene is near the end of “The Naked Gun 2 and 1/2,” the last film in the franchise released before OJ’s, er, troubles emerged. The Polish dubbing under Nielsen’s voice in this clip (right before OJ’s mariachi trumpet solo) only adds to the comedy.
6. Singing the “Star Spangled Banner” during the 7th Inning Stretch
Singing as Enrico Pallazzo, before saving the life of Queen Elizabeth.
5. “I’m a locksmith — and, I’m a locksmith.”
Deadpan perfection in “Police Squad.”
4. “Nice beaver!”
Leslie Nielsen helps Priscilla Presley handle her beaver.
3. “The man is as dirty as a coal miner’s underwear in January.”
Nielsen’s infamous dance scene with Priscilla Presley. Legend has it the sequence with the olive took over 80 takes to shoot.
2. “Ssssstrike two!”
Lt. Drebin really gets into being an umpire.
1. “It’s going to be a great honeymoon! Me, Dorothy and Freddy Peterson.”
After being mocked for seven seasons on the “Golden Girls” as a pathetic, lonely divorcee, Bea Arthur’s Dororthy Zbornak got to marry Blanche’s Uncle Lucas Hollingsworth, played by Nielsen. After Dorothy says that their sex is “so good we named it!” Uncle Lucas reveals the name.
RIP, Mr. Nielsen. (February 11, 1926 — November 28, 2010). As Lt. Drebin might have put it, this is not goodbye…it’s just we’ll never see each other again.