Don’t Call Me Shirley: The ‘Airplane’ movie quiz

Posted on April 12, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A wild take off on disaster movies, the 1980 comedy Airplane is one of those movies that fans know every line.

The film was a bit of a mold-breaker, making Leslie Neilson an unlikely comedic star (Naked Gun et al). The farce calls on Hollywood formula only to subvert it: deadpan actors like Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack and Peter Graves play the B-movie plot absolutely straight, turning the gags into a running meta-joke.

Slapstick, puns, callbacks, crazed cameos… it’s all packed tighter than luggage in the overhead bin. Monday, April 15. Sebastianitheatre. $10. 476 First. St. E.


1) The movie closely follows the plot of, and even shares dialogue with, an obscure and corny 1954 drama. Name it.

2) The score was written by legit film composer Elmer Bernstein, who worked on dozens of big films, including several oft-quoted comedies. Name one.

3) Ted Striker meets Elaine in a dive bar where the patrons suddenly break into a disco dance. What tune is playing.

4) Ted is haunted by his war-time flight over what target?

5) The trauma left him with what affliction?

6) Cameos include a hall of fame basketball player, an aging Broadway diva and a jive-talking sitcom mom. Name the actors.

7) The in-flight meal was fish or steak. What did Dr. Rumack have for dinner?

8) Steve McCroskey picked the wrong week to quit… what?

9) The pilot is seen reading a newspaper. What’s the headline?

10) “A hospital? What is it?”



1) Zero Hour! Bonus fact: starring Dana Andrews as the troubled, steak-eating hero.

2) Ghostbusters, Animal House, Stripes, and, what the heck, The Great Escape.

3) Stayin’ Alive

4) Macho Grande

5) A drinking problem.

6) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ethel Merman, Barbara ‘Leave it to Beaver” Billingsley

7) Lasagna

8) Smoking, drinking, amphetamines, sniffing glue.


10) “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.”

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