To those who don't want to watch the Olympics right now or who need a short breather, I point out that Comedy Central is showing Naked Gun 33-1/3 right now. (It's 8:30 AM in Los Angeles as I write this.) I only point this out because you might want to keep an eye open for the scene when Jane (played by Priscilla Presley) gets upset at Lenslie Nielsen's Frank and calls a cab. It arrives three seconds later, and she storms off in a huff with the cabbie. I think the scene makes the entire film work, but then I'm a bit biased. It also shows that there is no part too small, and what someone can do with a minimum of material even in a brief cameo. (I was the unit publicist for the movie, and the filmmakers had a particularly good time knowing that as I was waiting for my cue and the door to open, I had to stand outside the entire time puffing on that hideous cigar. "How you doing there, Bob?" they'd shout, the longer there were delays getting the lighting inside right, and then break into laughter.)
By the way, the full title of the film was Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult. It was a terrific title, but not the initial one. They had a different title and almost used it, but they thought that on the very slight chance that they made another, they wanted to keep the title and use it then, just in case. It was very unlikely -- they really were set that this would be the last. But "you never know." And so, what that fourth film would have been called (with the sub-title they dropped and held in case) was -- The Naked Gun 4: Beating a Dead Horse.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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