It was interesting to read that Airplane! originated as a chance that Michael Eisner took on an unknown team to compete against the films from more established comedians. Chris Nashawaty recalls the genesis of one of the greatest comedy films of all time for Esquire. The piece focuses on the decision to hire serious actors for the film. Peter Graves was one of the actors that took some convincing to get on board.
According to Jerry Zucker, when Graves first read the script, he threw it in the trash, thinking that his pilot character, Captain Oveur, who asks a young boy whether he’s ever seen a grown man naked and if likes gladiator films, came off like a pedophile. Eventually, his wife and daughter made him see the light.
I absolutely loved Airplane! when I was a kid, and it still held up recently when I watched it with my son.