Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker

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Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker
PseudonymKentucky Fried Theater
MediumFilm
NationalityAmerican
Years active1976–1994
GenresSlapstick comedy
Subject(s)
Notable works and rolesThe Kentucky Fried Movie
Airplane!
Top Secret!
Ruthless People
The Naked Gun
Members

Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (abbreviated to ZAZ) were an American comedy filmmaking trio consisting of Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker who specialized in writing slapstick comedy films during the 1980s.

History[edit]

David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker knew each other during their childhood years, growing up in Shorewood, Wisconsin, and attending Shorewood High School which is sometimes referenced in their work. While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the trio founded a small theater known as The Kentucky Fried Theater in 1971 which led to their sketch comedy film The Kentucky Fried Movie in 1977.

This was followed by the trio's breakout hit Airplane! in 1980, which remains a revered comedic milestone. Subsequent collaborations include 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 1980s 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. 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.

The trio split up in the 1990s for fiscal and creative reasons, stating that there were "too many guys sitting in the same chair". They also said that they had been treated unfairly by the studios that produced their films, claiming that they failed to see any profits from Ruthless People. Nevertheless, the three still maintain a close kinship.[1]

Filmography[edit]

The below chart shows which films member(s) of the trio have directed:

David
Zucker
Jim
Abrahams
Jerry
Zucker
Big John, Little John (1976) (screenwriters of episode "Abracadabra")[2]
☒N
☒N
☒N
The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) (screenwriters)
☒N
☒N
☒N
Airplane! (1980)
☒N
☒N
☒N
Police Squad! (1982) (Pilot episode)
☒N
☒N
☒N
Top Secret! (1984)
☒N
☒N
☒N
Ruthless People (1986)
☒N
☒N
☒N
Big Business (1988)
☒N
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
☒N
Ghost (1990)
☒N
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990)
☒N
The Naked Gun 2+12: The Smell of Fear (1991)
☒N
Hot Shots! (1991)
☒N
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
☒N
For Goodness Sake (1993)
☒N
Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult (1994) (co-written by David)
☒N
First Knight (1995)
☒N
...First Do No Harm (1997)
☒N
Mafia! (1998)
☒N
BASEketball (1998)
☒N
Rat Race (2001)
☒N
My Boss's Daughter (2003)
☒N
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
☒N
Scary Movie 4 (2006) (co-written by Jim)
☒N
☒N
An American Carol (2008)
☒N
Scary Movie 5 (2013)
☒N

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker, and why they went their separate ways as directors". Film Stories. September 3, 2019. Retrieved July 25, 2021.
  2. ^ Big John, Little John - WGA Directory

External links[edit]