Only days after calling Leslie Nielsen my favorite spoof actor of all time, I got hit in the face, gut, and heart with this sad news:
Pajiba: …Nielsen died from complications from pneumonia on November 28th. He was 84…. he will be greatly missed.
The actor, who started out starring in “normal” movies like The Poseidon Adventure and Prom Night, left seriousness behind for the goofball roles we know and love in numerous spoof films, especially classics like Airplane and The Naked Gun. Nielsen’s straight-faced delivery of the most ridiculous puns and silly sight gags made him a Hollywood favorite, and any person in their right mind can tell that he had a hell of a good time with these films.
Even though the quality of his films declined, along with the spoof genre in general, you could always count on Nielsen to deliver some laughs, and still, you could tell that Nielsen was doing these films not only because of the paycheck, but because he loved doing these movies, loved making people laugh. In a world where people all around us are arguing, hating, even hurting and killing, over things as trivial as money or women, you have to respect a man that did something he loved with a good attitude and a smile on his face, even if that thing he loved fell from glory.
The thing that hurts most about Nielsen’s death is that he always came across as a humble, sweet guy. Sure, the screen and real life are two different things; people that make people laugh in the movies can be horrible, rotten people that don’t care about fans and eventually mail it in for the money, but for all purposes here, I think it’s safe to say that Leslie Nielsen was a pretty nice guy, and even if they finish last, it’s the nice guys that are missed the most. The nice guys are the ones we remember the fondest. Leslie Nielsen was a pretty cool guy. Leslie Nielsen was a pretty hilarious guy. I could always be wrong, but I’m 99% sure Leslie Nielsen was a pretty nice guy, and even though I never met him, never got his autograph, never got to actually know him, I’ll miss him greatly.