Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker Grew Up Making Fun of Serious Shows

Future Airplane! star Robert Stack in The Untouchables. ABC

Jim Abrahams and brothers Jerry and David Zucker grew up together, and their dads were business partners in a real estate company.

In their 2023 book Surely You Can’t Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane!, Jerrry Zucker explained that they spent hours, growing up, watching serious TV shows like The Untouchables, Sea Hunt, and Mission: Impossible — “shows where the characters just took themselves so seriously, and we’d blurt out ridiculous lines for them to say.”

And in Airplane, “we actually got those same tough-guy actors to say the lines we always wished they would have said.”

That was the origin of their approach to comedy — play it totally straight, and totally absurd.

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