When you're recording live, sometimes things just pop into your head, and you don't want to disrupt the flow of the show by looking it up online. Or we say weird stuff that never gets explained. So in the interest of truth, justice, and the American Way, we're going to do these blog posts and fact-check ourselves.
So you might have noticed that we strangely did not mention the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush in our latest episode on Naked Gun 2 1/2. Well that's because we actually record these episodes one week in advance. So actually as soon as we got home from recording, Justin pinged us because the news had JUST broken that Mrs. Bush was in critical condition, and of course the next day we found out she had passed. So of course we all send our deepest condolences to the Bush family (because I'm sure they care what we think) and we salute Barbara Bush for her wonderful life of service and her "starring role" in Naked Gun 2 1/2.
And actually while looking up more about her in relation to Naked Gun, I found this cute news piece on the Pres. & Mrs. Bush getting a little revenge on Leslie Nielsen for parodying them in the film. It's actually really cute to know that they were good sports about it and able to razz Nielsen a bit in an adorable old person kind of way. I can't even imagine a world where Trump would throw up some bunny ears on Alec Baldwin and call it even.
And because we were tiny children in the late 80s and early 90s there were a few jokes in this film that went right over our heads or that we misinterpreted. Here's some of our usual fact-checks.
What was the art dealer joke all about?
Robert Goulet introduces their Meinheimer look-alike Earl Hacker, the "former arts consultant to Jesse Helms." You might have heard of Jesse Helms before, a five-term Republican North Carolina senator most famous for being a total racist. But around 1989 he made headlines with his introduction of an amendment that would have cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts because they had provided funding for two exhibits which he deemed obscene. Here's a link to a biography/obit of his, but I think that you can learn a lot about him just by reading this one paragraph from Wikipedia:
"Helms had a negative view of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and LGBT rights in the United States. Helms called homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches" and tried to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting the "gay-oriented artwork of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe". In 1993, when then-president Bill Clinton wanted to appoint 'out' lesbian Roberta Achtenberg to assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Helms held up the confirmation "because she's a damn lesbian", adding "she's not your garden-variety lesbian. She's a militant-activist-mean lesbian". Helms also stated "I'm not going to put a lesbian in a position like that. If you want to call me a bigot, fine." When Clinton urged that gays be allowed to serve openly in the armed forces, Helms said the president "better have a bodyguard" if he visited North Carolina."
By the way, comedic actor Ed Helms, who was at one-time rumored to be up for a Naked Gun reboot, is the fifth cousin once removed of the now-deceased Senator, according to famouskin.com.
What is the meaning of "General Schwarzkopf: Welcome Home" in the credits?
Look I'm the first to admit that I know next to nothing about the Gulf War. When I got to high school it was too recent to be taught yet and with America still in the throws of post-9/11 military action, people weren't really eager to go over that time that many perceive as a war fought over oil. Somebody let me know if there's a good movie I can watch that will sum it all up for me. But anyways, General Schwarzkopf was a famous Gulf War commander that for some reason became super famous and well-liked. His homecoming became a really big hullabaloo and a symbol of that fact that America had freed Kuwait and won the Gulf War (even though Saddam Hussein was still in power). What's most remarkable about this to me is how famous this guy became, famous enough that everyone at that time would have understood this joke about him in the credits of a major motion picture. I can't think of a single person from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that is this well-known. I guess maybe the guy from American Sniper? But I can't even remember his name.
What were the organizational acronyms introduced by John Sununu at the state dinner?
We couldn't remember these all while recording, but they are hilarious and so I wanted to provide the list here:
- Society of Petroleum lndustry Leaders - better known as SPIL
- Society for More Coal Energy, or SMoCE (pronounced 'smoke')
- Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind - KABOOM
Did the wall art in the Blue Note show Mr. Rogers?
When Frank Drebin first arrives at the Blue Note jazz club, we get a long pan of all the hanging arts on the walls, which depict famous failures: the San Francisco Earthquake, the Hindenburg, the Titanic, and then a photo of a man that Justin and Tyler thought was Mr. Rogers. Though they do look a bit similar, the man pictured is actually 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, who was handily beaten by President Bush Sr. No president since has had such a good winning margin. In a later shot, photos of the Ford Edsel (famously failed in the 1950's) and the Hubble Telescope (failed until it was repaired) also appear. But hey it looks like we weren't the only ones to see a similarity! A 1988 magazine spread pondered if the two were seperated at birth.
Is Vitamin C's "Graduation (Friends Forever)" still popular?
Under her real name, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Vitamin C sings the very funny song "I guess I'm just screwed" in Naked Gun 2. This led to us speculating about whether or not kids these days still listen to her Graduation song when leaving high school. And actually, they do! While some songs like Fun's "We Are Young," Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again," and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" have scratched the surface, no one has managed to unseat Vitamin C as the queen of graduations. Multiple media outlets, including this list from Seventeen Magazine, still list her song as the number one graduation anthem ever, and re-recommend it every year as a must-have on the graduation playlists of high school seniors. Friends FOREVER! and while we're on the subject...
Did Seinfeld use Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" in their series finale?
What's with that guy running around with a huge cookbook as the ballroom breaks into chaos?
This gag is a reference to a very famous Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man," when us idiot humans translate an alien book cover and of course assume the aliens are here to assist us. Just as humans board the alien ship someone figures out that the rest of the book is actually a COOKBOOK about 'serving' man, but it's too late. This was also famously parodied in The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror with Kang and Kodos, and goddamn it never gets old:
That's all for now, feel free to point out any other mistakes or omissions by emailing us at [email protected]! And don't worry, we'll have even more discussion on which Zucker brother did what on our episode for Naked Gun 33 1/3.
PS: A ton of the things mentioned in this post including the Twilight Zone, Vitamin C, and Mr. Rogers, are all available as part of an Amazon Prime Membership. And you can watch along with all three movies on Starz, also available as an Amazon add-on. If you're interested in a free trial please use the banners below, which help us make more Sequel Rights!