Central Penn College - Airplane! Flies Again on October 26

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October 8, 2018 Airplane! Flies Again on October 26

Who ever thought a comedy starring Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Peter Graves and Lloyd Bridges––four “serious” actors not known for their comedic chops––could be so laugh-out-loud hilarious?

“That’s precisely one of the reasons Airplane! is so funny,” says Professor Tom Davis, chair of the English and Communication department at Central Penn College.

“Having these guys play it straight while chaos surrounds them is just comedy gold. It’s one of the reasons the movie––and the laughs––still holds up nearly 40 years later,” says Davis of the 1980 movie directed by David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams, who would go on to create the Naked Gun series.  

As part of its quarterly Humanities Film Series, Central Penn will offer a free screening of Airplane! on Friday, October 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Capital BlueCross Theatre. The event is open to the public. Davis will introduce the movie with a short talk titled, “’Shirley, Why So Serious?’ Absurdism and Airplane!” 

To prepare for the presentation, Davis has “forced” himself to watch the movie several times recently. “Even when I know the jokes are coming, I still laugh,” says Davis. “And the movie is crammed with all kinds of visual puns that you miss on just one viewing.”

Thirty-eight years after the movie was released, Davis is philosophical about the film’s impact. “We need movies like Airplane! Modern life can seem extremely absurd at times, and there’s nothing like a good laugh––or many good laughs––to put things in perspective.”



Friday, October 26

Capital BlueCross Theatre

Central Penn College, 600 Valley Road, Summerdale PA 17093

6 p.m. – Doors open. Food and drinks available from the Knightly News Media Club.

6:30 p.m. – Introductory talk: “’Shirley, Why So Serious?’ Absurdism and Airplane!” by Professor Tom Davis

7–9 p.m. Airplane!

9–9:30 p.m. – Q&A

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