But First

United Film Distribution Company

1977’s Kentucky Fried Movie was the first film written by the comedy team of Jim Abrahams and brothers Jerry and David Zucker, three self-described “nice Jewish boys from Milwaukee” who started a comedy theater in Wisconsin, brought it to Los Angeles in their 20s, and soon broke into the motion picture business.

But it was a bumpy ride. They couldn’t make the film they really wanted to make — Airplane! — until they proved themselves with the raucous, ridiculous Kentucky Fried Movie. The film also opened doors for director John Landis, who went on to direct Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places, Coming to America, and other comedy classics.

Here’s how the bold, bawdy Kentucky Fried Movie came to be.

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