Every Joke from ‘Airplane!’ Ranked
Alex Kavutskiy

Great list.

One way to truly appreciate the awesomeness that was Airplane! is to see how it was actually a parody of the 1957 movie Zero Hour:

A few notes:

171 — Ronald Reagan was not governor of California in 1980.

138 and 139 — this was a parody of a scene from Airport 1975, with a singing nun played by Helen Reddy (“I Am Woman”).

125 — the “old lady” who speaks jive was Barbara Billingsley, who played June Cleaver in Leave It To Beaver. Mrs Cleaver was probably as white as white could get during the 1950s, Having her actress speak jive easily put this joke in the top five.

77 and 81 — These were extremely funny. Anybody watching this in 1980 would’ve instantly caught the reference.

0 — I echo the other commenter — how could you miss the piston-engine sound effects for a jet airliner?

I hope I don’t sound like a dick, because I love this list (especially since I can re-live the movie just reading it) and appreciate the amount of work you put into it.

Like what you read? Give Karl Lichtenberger a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.