Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker
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|Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker|
October 16, 1947
May 10, 1944
March 11, 1950
|Other names||Kentucky Fried Theatre|
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
The Naked Gun
|Influenced by||Peter Sellers, Monty Python|
|Awards||WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (abbreviated ZAZ) was an American comedy filmmaking trio consisting of Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker who specialized in slapstick comedy films during the 1980s and the early 1990s. The trio knew each other during their childhood years; growing up in Shorewood, Wisconsin and attended Shorewood High School, which is sometimes referenced in their work. While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the trio formed a theater group called "Kentucky Fried Theater". This led to their sketch comedy film, The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), which was written by the group and directed by John Landis.
This was followed in 1980 by the trio's breakout hit, Airplane!, which remains a revered comedic milestone. Subsequent film collaborations including Top Secret!, Ruthless People, and The Naked Gun. All of their projects relied heavily on parodies, visual gags and breaking of the fourth wall, and established a strong cult following. The notable stylistic exception is Ruthless People, a more traditional farce that was directed by the trio, but unlike their other productions, not written by them.
Prominent ZAZ players include Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Charlie Sheen, and Anna Faris. The trio's status as a three-person team of co-directors is highly unusual, although some of their later projects were directed by David Zucker working solo, and with Jerry Zucker and Abrahams credited only as producers and/or writers. Each member of the group has also had individual success:
- David Zucker directed BASEketball and Scary Movie 3 and 4.
- Abrahams directed Hot Shots!, Part Deux and Jane Austen's Mafia!.
- Jerry Zucker directed Ghost, First Knight, and Rat Race. Of the three, Jerry Zucker has found the most mainstream non-comedic success including Ghost and First Knight, which grossed over $500 million worldwide.
Below is a filmography chart on which films the trio have directed together and solo:
- David Zucker at the Internet Movie Database
- Jim Abrahams at the Internet Movie Database
- Jerry Zucker at the Internet Movie Database
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