Does the classic comedy 'Airplane!' make you laugh?
Carolyn Brooks Fleming
About This Quiz
"Airplane!" is regarded by many as one of the funniest satirical movies ever made. It is among the top ten best comedy movies ever made, according to AFI. Do you know which characters said which classic lines?
Who said this memorable line: "Jim never has a second cup of coffee at home."
Mrs. Hammen tells a stewardess that she would like a second cup of coffee, but her husband won't. He contradicts her, asking for that second cup. Mrs. Hammen looks at the camera and we hear the memorable line in her subconscious. This is a sendup of a '70s ad campaign for Yuban coffee: When a husband accepts a second cup of coffee at a gathering, his wife is confused because he never wants a second cup at home.
Who said this memorable line: "I guess the foot's on the other hand now, isn't it, Kramer?"
Striker says this line, taking control of the situation by overriding Kramer's command to keep flying. Striker wants to land in Chicago so the critically-ill passengers can get medical attention.
Who said this memorable line: "Oh, stewardess! I speak jive."
A stewardess, Randy, can't understand the urban slang of two African American passengers. A sweet older white lady, known as Jive Lady in the script, makes her famous offer to help. The men say they can understand the stewardess just fine. One says, "My mama no raise no dummies. I dug her rap!" Jive Lady responds, "Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don' want no help, chump don't GET da help!" Extra humor in this scene comes from the fact that Jive Lady was played by Barbara Billingsley, who also played the pearl-wearing mom in "Leave It to Beaver."
Who said this memorable line: "Steve, I want every light you can get poured onto that field."
After Kramer utters this line, a truck dumps a load of lamps onto the runway where the plane is expected to land.
Who said this memorable line: "I flew single engine fighters in the Air Force, but this plane has four engines. It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether."
In response to this line by Ted Striker, those in earshot respond, "It's an entirely different kind of flying." They think he is making a request - all together now! By the way, others who auditioned for Robert Hays' character, Ted Striker, include Bruce Jenner and David Letterman.
Who said this memorable line: "It's a big building where generals meet, but that's not important."
In a flashback scene, following a plane crash that Ted Striker blames himself for, his girlfriend Elaine visits him in an army psychiatric hospital. She says, "You got a letter from headquarters this morning." Ted asks, "What is it?" Elaine's response is part of a trio of jokes about things that aren't important right now.
Who said this memorable line: "By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"
Elaine the stewardess tries to reassure the passengers that everything will be fine, despite turbulence and the illness of some passengers, but she causes utter panic when she utters this memorable line. Sigourney Weaver auditioned for the role of Elaine, but backed out because she didn't like some of the character's suggestive dialogue. Julie Hagerty ultimately won the part, and it was her movie debut.
Who said this memorable line: "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilots sit, but that's not important right now."
Randy the stewardess is making the rounds, trying to find someone who can fly the plane, since all of the flight crew are ill. She says to Ted Striker, 'Excuse me sir, there's been a little problem in the cockpit." Striker responds, "The cockpit…what is it?" Randy then says her memorable line.
Who said this memorable line: "I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
Ted Striker reluctantly goes to the cockpit, since he may be the only conscious person on the plane with any flying experience. Dr. Rumack asks him, "Can you fly this plane, and land it?" Striker responds, "Surely you can't be serious," leading Dr. Rumack to insist he shouldn't be called "Shirley."
Who said this memorable line: "And that, as much as anything else, led to my drinking problem."
In a flashback scene, Striker says he wants to reenlist in the Peace Corps, but Elaine wants to move forward with plans they had made before the war. That was the beginning of his drinking problem, Striker realizes, while confiding to a passenger back in the present time. Returning to the flashback scene once again, Striker tries to drink Gatorade, but pours it all over his face instead.
Who said this memorable line: "Where did you get that dress, it's awful, and those shoes and that coat, jeeeeez!"
Johnny says this to Mrs Oveur, wife of Captain Oveur, who is already upset because her husband is in peril. She has come to the command center to wait for the endangered plane to land.
Who said this memorable line: "I can't tell you that. It's classified. "
In a flashback scene, Striker and his girlfriend, Elaine, are enjoying a romantic moment on a seaweed-strewn beach. Striker tells her his military orders came through and shares all the details of his mission. Elaine asks when he will be back. Although Striker has already spilled the important secret info, he refuses to answer her relatively harmless question about timing.
Who said this memorable line: "Just kidding."
While Striker is trying to land the plane, for a moment Johnny mischievously unplugs the extension cord that powers the airport's runway lights.
Who said this memorable line: "I just wanna tell you both: good luck. We're all counting on you."
For some strange reason, Dr. Rumack enters the cockpit and offers this sentiment three times - before, during, and after the rough landing of the plane by Striker and Elaine.
Who said this memorable line: "Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol."
Steve McCroskey unwisely allows Johnny to take over during a press conference at the command center. A reporter asks what kind of plane it is that's in danger, and Johnny cheerfully describes it.
Who said this memorable line: "Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes."
Captain Kramer says this while trying to boost Ted Striker's confidence. The two had flown together in the war, until Striker's plane went down and everyone else on board died.
Who said this memorable line: "Just like Gerald Ford."
Johnny adds this memorable remark after Steve McCroskey tries to reassure Mrs. Oveur that she should stay hopeful about her husband and the endangered flight, saying, "Now your husband and the others are alive, but unconscious." President Ford was the butt of many jokes about his personality and his clumsiness. He was, in fact, full of humor and he was an all-star athlete. Unfortunately, he fell down the steps of Air Force One early in his presidency, sealing his fate.
Who said this memorable line: "Well, to be honest, I've never been so scared. But at least I have a husband."
Randy the stewardess cries, worried that the plane will crash. She confides to Dr. Rumack that she's never been so scared and she never even got to get married. Mrs. Hammen joins the conversation, making Randy feel even worse by remarking that at least she has a husband.
Who said this memorable line: "Let's see... altitude: 24,000 feet. Level flight. Speed: 520 knots. Course: zero-niner-zero. Trim and mixture: wash, soak, rinse, spin."
After Ted Striker agrees to fly the plane, he settles in and surveys the flight controls. Apparently the plane not only flies, but also does laundry.
Who said this memorable line: "Gunderson, check the Radar Range. Anything yet?"
In the command center, Steve McCroskey is concerned that the endangered plane doesn't show up on his radar. He asks Gunderson to check the radar range. Gunderson opens an oven door to reveal a raw turkey.
Who said this memorable line: "Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna."
On this troubled flight, crew and passengers were offered steak or fish. Everyone who chose fish becomes terribly ill. Dr. Rumack managed to avoid illness with a mysterious third meal option - lasagna.
Who said this memorable line: "Why, that's the Russian New Year. We can have a parade and serve hot hors d'oeuvres..."
Ted Striker is fiddling with the controls in the cockpit, and he flips a switch that he thinks will turn on the landing lights. The plane dives toward the ground and Striker shouts, "Mayday!" Steve McCroskey at the command center responds, "What the heck is that?" Johnny, always helpful, gives a description of May Day.
Who said this memorable line: "I'm sorry, son, but you must have me confused with someone else."
Joey, a young passenger who is visiting the pilots in the cockpit early in the flight, is sure that Roger Murdock is really basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Murdock tries to deny his true identity, but loses his cool when Joey says, "I think you're the greatest, but my dad says you don't work hard enough on defense. And he says that lots of times, you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try... except during the playoffs." Murdock breaks down and, as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, says, "The hell I don't! Listen, kid! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!" The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar role was originally offered to baseball player Pete Rose.
Who said this memorable line: "No... that's just what they'll be expecting us to do."
Captain Kramer, suddenly full of darkness, denies a request to turn on the searchlights to help Striker land the plane. Robert Stack, who plays Kramer, starred in one of the first airplane disaster movies, "The High and the Mighty."
Who said this memorable line: "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking."
As Steve McCroskey tries to strategize ways to safely land the plane with no flight crew, at various points in the film he comments that he picked the wrong week to quit smoking, quit drinking, quit amphetamines, and quit sniffing glue.
Who said this memorable line: "Alright, give me Hamm on five, hold the Mayo."
Captain Oveur is on the phone with a doctor from the Mayo Clinic, regarding a heart transplant patient who will be traveling on the captain's next flight. The operator cuts in on the call, saying, "Excuse me, Captain Oveur, but I have an emergency call on line five from a Mr. Hamm." This causes the captain to say his hilarious line that sounds as if he's ordering a deli sandwich.
Who said this memorable line: "Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"
Joey, a young passenger, is brought up to the cockpit for a visit. Captain Oveur gives him a model of the plane as a gift, then proceeds to ask the boy a series of disturbing questions.
Who said this memorable line: "That's impossible. They're on instruments!"
In the command center, Steve McCroskey worries that the endangered plane could be miles off course. Captain Kramer responds with his famous line, then the scene cuts to the cockpit where Striker, Elaine, Randy, and Rumack are playing jazz - on instruments, of course.
Who said this memorable line: "And Leon is getting laaaaarrrrrger."
Johnny gives this rude response after a flight controller says, "Bad news. The fog's getting thicker." Johnny also rubs the man's belly while telling him he's getting larger.
Who said this memorable line: "Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?"
This line by Captain Oveur, who is speaking to Victor Basta and Roger Murdock, is part of a brilliant sequence, punning on the names Roger, Clarence, Oveur, and Victor, as used in flight jargon. In another moment, Roger Murdock says, "We have clearance, Clarence." Also, whenever someone says, "Roger," Roger Murdock says, "Huh?" Whenever someone says "Over," Captain Oveur says, "Huh?"
Who said this memorable line: "It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now."
Dr. Rumack examines a passenger on the plane who is ill from airline food - eggs are coming out of her mouth, and one of them even breaks open to reveal a live bird. Dr. Rumack tells Elaine the stewardess that this passenger must be taken to a hospital as soon as possible, and Elaine asks, "A hospital? What is it?" Dr. Rumack gives his famous response.
Who said this memorable line: "Turn… on… automatic pilot."
Captain Oveur, who is ill from eating bad fish for dinner, makes this request as he is pulled out of the pilot's seat. The automatic pilot turns out to be Otto Pilot, an inflatable character with an evil grin.
Who said this memorable line: "This? Why, I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl..."
Back at the command center, Steve McCroskey shows the latest weather briefing to Johnny and asks, "Johnny, what can you make out of this?" Johnny responds as only Johnny can!
Who said this memorable line: "No, I've been nervous lots of times."
A kind passenger notices that Striker is nervous and tries to offer sympathy. She asks, "First time?" meaning is it his first time flying. He responds to a different question - is this his first time being nervous. "Airplane!" is a rermake of an older film - "Zero Hour!" - in which Ted Stryker (yes, with a y) was played by Dana Andrews.
Who said this memorable line: "Well, I’ll give him another twenty minutes, but that’s it!"
This character appears at the beginning of the movie, left alone in his taxi at the airport when his driver steps out for just a few minutes. Man in Taxi appears again at the end of the movie, still waiting in the taxi, with the meter still running. That's when he utters this famous line. The extra inside joke is, Man in Taxi was played by Howard Jarvis, a California politician who focused on fiscal responsibility.
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