Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only

My oldest son and I have very similar senses of humor. For example, we both can recite most of Monty Python and the Holy Grail by heart and we both think Weird Al is a genius.

But lately I've been disturbed to find that some of my favorite classic comedy movie references from the 70s and 80s have been going right over his head, due to the fact that he has yet to see any of these films.

Case in point... whenever we're at the airport and I hear the canned announcement regarding where to load and unload passengers, he has no idea why I immediately start chuckling and automatically launch into "Look Betty, don't start up with your white zone shit again." It's kind of sad really.

And so I aim to fix this little problem.

Not unlike my recent Father's Day post where I extolled the virtues of passing our family handyman knowledge down from one generation to the next, I feel I need to do the same thing for my children by exposing them to classic comedy cinema that they in turn can pass down to their children - and on and on. I consider it my responsibility to keep the nonsense legacy alive.

Therefore, here are the first three movies I am going to watch with my son. I think these are good examples of films that really bring out the silliness he so sadly has been missing. I've also included a few of my favorite one-liners from these movies that I find myself spewing out on a regular basis - most of the time without even realizing it.

Airplane (1980)
- Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
- There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
- Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

The Jerk (1979)
- He hates these cans. Stay away from the cans.
- I'm somebody now!
- I have my temporary driver's license - and - my astronaut application form... I didn't pass that though, I failed everything but the date of birth.

Caddy Shack (1980)
- Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity.
- How about a Fresca?
- You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body.
- You'll get nothing, and like it.

Other films he hasn't seen:
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

What about you? What classic comedies do you think my (17 year old) son should be exposed to? Also, what are some of your favorite one-liners that no one else seems to get?

* * * * *
And I don't need one other thing, except


Roger Miller said...

Any WKRP in Cincinatti episode, especially the Thanksgiving episodes with the classic line:

"God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

My oldest didn't think it that funny, but there is hope for #2 as he giggled.

"I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." ~ Roger Rabbit

"I'll have what she's having." ~ When Harry Met Sally

"You can't fight in here, it's the war room!" ~ Dr. Strangelove

Lot's of good one's out there.

Anonymous said...

The only ones of those Ive seen are The Blues Brothers, which I didn't get, Blazing Saddles, which I love, Ferris Beuller, which I also don't get the appeal of, and of course Monty Python, which is awesome.

They aren't technically comedies, but I recommend the Conan movies for their comedic value.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

mylhibug - Oh yeah, WKRP was one of my favs from way back. I think I'll wait to show him When Harry Met Sally ;b

marie - Well if you haven't seen Airplane, The Jerk or Caddyshack, you'd better get crackin'. But if you're not into stupid puns, don't bother with Airplane.

Elizabeth said...

I love The Blues Brothers too, "Illinois Nazis."
"I hate Illinois Nazis"
I also loved Planes Trains and Automobiles,
"Those aren't pillows!"

Kathy said...

You picked a good introductory "film" for him to watch. I think I missed half the lines laughing so hard the first time I saw Airplane. Yes, Blazing Saddles is a must. "How bout some more beans Mr. Taggart!" Would you consider Spaceballs? They've gone plaid! And then there's the classic in our household, Christmas Vacation."Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

SHW said...

I love The Blues Brothers!

"The light was yellow, sir."

"Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail us now!"

"We're on a mission from God."

Also Ferris Bueller:

"Anyone...anyone...anyone..." (Grade school kids don't get this.)

How about Animal House?


"Double Secret Probation"

kapgar said...

I was always raised believing that the ability to recite Monty Python and the Holy Grail from memory was required to truly be a man. Lord knows my friend (also a SCSU grad) and I could do it without a problem... including accents and songs.

Mom Thumb said...

Totally with the memorization of Monty Python. When my son was quite small, I would amuse him as he rode in the grocery cart by saying "Ni, Ni, Ni!" People thought I was weird, but it made him laugh.

Blazing Saddles: "Oh, a wed wose, how womantic."

Caddyshack: "Oh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness. So I got that goin' for me . . . which is nice."

Alice said...

My husband quotes a bunch from History of the World Part 1 and I always throw out stuff from Meatballs, Stripes, National Lampoon's Vacation and Office Space (although it's more recent).


Aw damn...and "16 Candles" is hysterical!

"Dong? *clap*clap* Where is my automobile?"

Alice said...

Oh - and Weird Al's parody on EBay kills me.

cathouse teri said...

I think you've just about got all the greats covered!

You know what, though? I haven't seen Spinal Tap yet! I know!

So let me know when you're watching it and I'll come watch it with y'all!

Tonyia said...

The true ruler is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

But the second in command at our house is Princess Bride.


"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means"

"Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!"

"We'll never survive" Nonsense, you're only saying that because no one ever has."

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

"There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. "

And, of course, tunage by Mark Knopfler. It just doesn't get any better...

Anonymous said...

"He said the Sheriff is near!"
"I was just out walking the parapet" ZIP!
"We're on a mission from God."

I also liked Mel Brooks "Silent Movie" but I can't remember any quotations.

bon bon said...

God bless you, Jeff, for instilling your children with such sound wisdom!

is your son too young to see evil dead? or shaun of the dead? blood, gore AND hilarity. quite a bit of cursing tho.

then of course, (way) down the road you'll need to share 40 year old virgin.

hmmm, i seem to enjoy some vulgar comedies, don't i...

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

elizabeth - Ooh, Planes, Trains and Automobiles! I forgot about that one. Classic!

kathy - Good stuff! You reminded me that I don't have the first Vacation on the list. That one is a "must see" as well.

sexy housewife - My son now informs me that he's seen the Blues Brothers. In fact now that I think about it, I actually heard him reference "dry white toast" not too long ago. *sigh* I'm so proud. :-)

kapgar - It truly is a rite of passage.

mom thumb - You have no idea how many times I've said, "so I got that goin for me, which is nice." Like I said, most of the time I don't even realize I'm saying these stupid things.

alice - I'm glad you mentioned Weird Al. I figured there would be enough people who agreed with me on the Monty Python thing, but I knew I was hanging myself out there when I said Weird Al was a genius. But I have all his albums and have seen him live, and he really is a genius. There's no other way to put it.

teri - Holy moly, you gotta get on that one girl. It's definitely one of the classics. Especially if you like stories about rock bands.

tonyia - LOVE Princess Bride! Although I'm way behind on my viewings and references. Thanks for the excellent quotes!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

rick - Oh yeah, Blazing Saddles was a gold mine for famous quotes. I may have to rethink my idea of watching it with Brandon though. I'm starting to remember some of those quotes!

bon bon - I've never seen either of those Dead movies. Do I need to screen them myself first?

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Fantastic list. I can't wait until mine is old enough to watch these.

What about Fletch or Funny Farm (I'm a Chevy Chase fan)

Sarah said...

As an 18 year old I would like to say that i have seen airplane! and i love it! I totally knew the refrence right off the bat.

as for the others.... well i'm not going to say anything....

Sarah said...

edit to previous comment. I have seen Monty Python and Princess Bride

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

ed - I too am a huge Chevy fan. Both of those movies are classics as well. Although I thought Fletch had a weird blend of humor and drama that didn't seem to mix well in some parts.

sarah - Awesome. It's good you've been exposed to these classic films at such a young and impressionable age. BTW... if you're the Sarah that entered the contest for Jess Riley's book Driving Sideways, please let me know... because then that would make you THE WINNER! As it stands, I still haven't heard back from my winner named Sarah who doesn't have a link to a blog. Much like you. Hmmmm?

yoo hoo said...

What's so important that you have to have more quotes? The "what's so important' phrase is interjected in just about ALL conversations that happen in our house. And of course, it's from the best movie ever. The Princess Bride

Maureen said...

Fast Times at Ridgemont High... love Sean Penn in that.

Canadian Bacon; love John Candy.

The original Pink Panther movies. Peter Sellers all the way.

I love those on your list. Looks like we have the same silly sense of humour.

Maureen said...

Oh, and we saw Al in concert last summer... floor seats and up close. He was AWESOME!

Unknown said...

"What the f*ck is a frush?" Revenge of the Nerds...
My kids like Dogma. Jay and Silent Bob are the Cheech and Chong of generation X. Drug humor probably not a good thing just yet.
"What hump?" "Stop or the n---- gets it!" Ahhhh, the list could go on forever...

Anonymous said...

Season 1 Episode 5 “'The Love of Johnny Johnson”- Little House on the Prairie is a must see.

Jess Riley said...

I LOVE all of those movies!!! Classics, all of 'em.

(Your website was taking too long to load while my husband was playing XBox online with his buddies, Call of Duty 4, and I suddenly heard a panicked, "Honey? Whatever you're doing in there is killing me." And I just laughed and laughed.)

Whit said...

I think they were all mentioned:

Animal House, Princess Bride, Revenge of the Nerds, Fletch, and:

What About Bob- Am I not sailing, am I not far from the shore?

Raising Arizona- We ate sand. You ate sand?

So I Married an Axe Murderer- Head! Pants!

Bee said...

Princess Bride: "Have fun storming the castle!"

and I have this affinity for Tommy Boy quotes. I know it's not considered classic but I LOVE that show. :)

Michelle said...

You *think* Weird Al is genius? He IS genius!

You've got to move Blazing Saddles higher on the list (and keep Airplane in the top 3). What about Naked Gun?

Michelle said...

Oh oh oh and Space Balls! I'll add to that bandwagon, too.

MYM said...

Oh, your first commenter is right about the thanksgiving WKRP episode ... classic.

My fav line is "don't call me shirley" of course I'm not so sure it's as much as people don't get it as much as they're sick of hearing it. Still makes me laugh tho.

Anonymous said...

"I love your body, Larry."

Doozie said...

bee stole my idea! Tommy Boy is a must see. How about some Jerry Lewis? or....
Christmas Vacation? Can I drive you to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?

Lets not forget Joe Dirt

Avitable said...

I'd also bring in Top Secret!

"I know a little German - he's sitting over there."

Val Kilmer's first movie role was in a Zucker film - whodathunk?

Windyridge said...

Jeff my almost 16 year old and husband can do the whole Monty Python script too! It's hilarious. Your choice of got to be seen movies is good. Can't think of any to add except TV and all the Seinfeld episodes.
Hey I'm running a contest giving away 3 digital photo keychains and I need some entries. Cripes I only have 3! Please spread the word and consider entering at

Windyridge said...

Oh ya know what? What about all the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns? My kids can recite the good lines in those as well, accents and all. And then there's Bugs Bunny...

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

carla - Princess Bride made a huge impact on the world of one-liners.
"We'll never survive."
"Nonsense. You're only saying that because no one ever has."

maureen - We really do have a lot in common on the humor side. Brandon and I saw the same Weird Al concert last summer, floor seats up close too! Best concert I've seen in years.

gette - Ahh, Revenge of the Nerds... good one!

jennine - I had no idea I've been missing so many important LHotP moments!

jess - We had to take my son's computer away from him because he was playing too much CoD4. I'm in the process of making some changes to speed up my site btw.

whit - I'm afraid to expose him to Animal House when he's only 1 year away from college. I don't want to give him any ideas ;b

bee - I have a feeling he'd LOVE Tommy Boy. It's just dumb enough to totally float his boat.

michelle - I've never actually seen Naked Gun. At one point after Airplane they started making spoof movies about everything, and there just got to be too many to keep up with. But I've always wanted to Naked Gun.

drowsey - That's another phrase I say way too much. "I am serious, and quit calling me Shirley." A little secret... I'm really only 13 but am posing as a 46 year old blogger.

mitch - His "Dr. Jellyfinger" comment after his prostate exam was inscribed into my book of quotes.

doozie - It's no wonder you're such a big fan of Tommy Boy, you know - with having a son who does Chris Farley impersonations and all.

avitable - Thanks for that suggestion! Haven't seen that one either. So much nonsense, so little time.

windyridge - Those westerns weren't designed to be comedies, yet they really are some of the funniest movies out there. I'll check out your contest right away!

Anonymous said...

Anything with Bill Murray in it, but especially Stripes, "That's a fact, JACK"; and Ghostbusters, "We came, we saw, we kicked some ass". Also, European Vacation, "Look kids, Big Ben...look kids, Big Ben". What about Earth Girls are Easy? And I totally forgot about A Fish Called Wanda until right now - one of the best movies, ever!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I do have to second whoever suggested 'Meatballs'.

"EEEEven if we win...eeven if God in heaven above were to come down and point His hand to OUR side of the just wouldn't matter...because all the REAALLY good looking girls would STILL go out with the guys from Mohawk because they HAVE all the MONEY!!"

Movie memorized? You betcha.

JD at I Do Things said...

I heartily approve of all your movie and quote choices, and I offer a few more:

Fast Times at Ridgmont High: "Aloha. My name is Mr. Hand."

Stripes: "Aaaaaarmy training, sir!"

Caddyshack: Adding "so I got that going for me" a la Carl Spackler (Bill Murray's) Dalai Lama speech to anything remotely appropriate.

JD at I Do Things

Windyridge said...

Jeff yeah you're right. Those westerns weren't supposed to be comedies but they sure are comical classics with some now famous lines. A must in any boys education!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

nancy - Ghostbusters! Duh. That totally has to go on my list.

shieldmaiden96 - Memorizing silly movie lines is a good thing. It keeps our brains sharp and crowds out the serious stuff.

jd - Did you know it's impossible to say "so I got that goin for me" without dropping one side of your lower lip and imitating Carl when you say it?

windyridge - I'd like to know how many movies the phrase "Badges! We don't need no stinkin badges!" was used in.

yellojkt said...

I haven't seen "The Jerk" or "Blazing Saddles", so I'm as culturally deprived as your son.

Father-son viewing at my house includes "Bring It On" and the collected works of Kevin Smith.

Michelle said...

Jeff, Naked Gun was the last of the truly good spoofs (what about Vacation btw?). Definitely worth watching, although I have to say that my estimation of you has fallen somewhat for having not seen Naked Gun....

cathouse teri said...

Glad you guys reminded me! I forgot about Princess Bride! Definitely a MUST SEE!

Unknown said...

Speaking of Weird AL: UHF, the movie. And other b-movie greatness of that ERA: Tapeheads. They used to show that on Friday nights at the Uptown back when they still showed RHPS every Saturday. Oh yeah, add RHPS.

G said...

I think you've got a solid start. I'm not reading through all the comments so excuse any duplication:

1) Animal House
2) Harold and Maude (warped in the best possible way).
3) The Marx Brothers - any movie but of course, A Night at the Opera is a good place to start.

That's it for now...

Anonymous said...

Most people have already said mine (I'm a little late) - PB, Fast Times, Space Balls; but there is a very old Kevin Costner movie that is a sort of coming-of-age and is quite funny. It's called Fandango.

"Filopians? Those are books in the Bible! 1st & 2nd Filopians?"

"To us, and that, and priveleges of youth."

also, gotta see Better Off Dead with John Cusack: "He put his testicles all over me!" "FRAUNCH fries, FRAUNCH bread, FRAUNCH dressing..." "Now that's a damn shame, when people be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."