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David Zucker

DAVID ZUCKER — WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER

 

With worldwide box office hits such as Airplane!, Ruthless People, The Naked Guns, Phone Booth, A Walk in the Clouds, and the record-breaking Scary Movie 3 and 4, all to his credit, director/writer/producer David Zucker has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers.

 

Starting out after college with a borrowed video tape deck and camera, David, with brother Jerry and friend Jim Abrahams created the Kentucky Fried Theater, in the back of a Madison, Wisconsin bookstore. Moving the show to Los Angeles in 1972, with their groundbreaking style of outrageous sketch comedy, they became the most successful small theater group in Los Angeles history.

 

After parlaying their success into an iconic independent feature, Kentucky Fried Movie, David, Jim, and Jerry conceived the idea that would create a whole new film genre. Airplane! broke all conventions, featuring dramatic actors like Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen performing zany jokes with straight-laced sincerity. The spoof became the surprise hit of 1980, beginning a streak of hilarious movies including the secret agent spoof Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer, and biting farce Ruthless People, with Bette Midler and Danny DeVito, one of that year’s top-grossing films.

 

In 1988, David went out on his own to direct The Naked Gun, a zany comedy that was a runaway hit. His 1991 Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear surpassed the original’s grosses, quickly followed by the third box-office winner, Naked Gun 33 1/3. David then produced A Walk in the Clouds (Keanu Reeves) and Phone Booth (Colin Farrell), which added to the list of hits, after which he directed the comedy classic BASEketball, featuring South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

 

In 2003, David was tapped by Dimension Films to revitalize the Scary Movie comedy franchise, directing two more blockbusters, Scary Movie 3 and 4 and producing two not-so-blockbuster movies, Superhero Movie and Scary Movie 5.

 

Off the set, David Zucker’s main focus has been LA’s largest private environmental organization, TreePeople.  As the longest serving board member in its history, he has received numerous honors from the group, including the Evergreen Award and Community Forester of the Year.

 

Currently, David has completed a new comedy script which he plans to direct in the Spring.