Living on an island, you can be more than a little isolated from the outside world, particularly here in the Whitsundays where reliable Internet access is about as common as a score past 30 from Kiwi cricketer Craig Cumming. No newspapers on Lindeman Island, little time for radio and TV, just intermittent Internet checks to keep us updated with the real world.
That combined with a youthful staff to make a 29 year old feel thoroughly middle-aged leads to some interesting observations and quotes (which I will get to soon). Attempting to catch up on life outside, I was reading Time magazine while day-tripping to the overpriced magpie sensation Hamilton Island (Snickers bars for $4, don’t leave unguarded for a second or it will fly away) and saw an obituary for the actor Leslie Nielsen. I couldn’t believe he’d died and even more-so, especially since he had reached the solid departure age of 84, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about it.
“Who’s Leslie Nielsen?” asked the co-workers to which I rattled off quotes from some of the greatest comedies of all time, notably the Naked Gun and Airplane / Flying High franchises. As Time magazine and others have pointed out, what made Leslie Nielsen so funny was his deadpan delivery, honed through years of being a serious dramatic actor. It wasn’t until Airplane / Flying High in 1980 that the spoof comedy genre went mainstream and its banner boy was a serious actor in his mid 50s, Leslie Nielsen.
I still remember watching Airplane / Flying High for the first time when I was about 10 years old and laughing at every brilliantly stupid Leslie Nielsen line, from, “This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.” “Hospital, what is it?” “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now,” and, “Can you tell when we will land?” “I can’t tell.” “You can tell me, I’m a doctor.” And of course, “Surely you can’t be serious.” “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.”
Not every movie Leslie Nielsen did was exactly what you’d call “comedy gold,” but a handful were and their place in history is secure. So to Leslie Neilson, RIP and thanks for the laughs which along with Seinfeld and The Office, have done so much to influence my own sense of humour.
As for quotable quotes from the pop-culture-deprived Whitsundays, try these:
“Isn’t fruit really bad for you?”
“Have you heard of the country Southeast Asia? Apparently it’s really good for parties.”
“If there’s an emergency, call the circus.”
“I got punched once by a nun.”
“What do you get when you cross Frank Sinatra, a hat, a ball, kung fu and a whistle? COMEDY GOLD.”
“What’s Frank Sinatra?”
That’s just about it for the latest instalment of the Roxborogh Report. Thanks as always for reading and hope the last week before Christmas goes smoothly for you wherever you may be. This is the most spread my family has ever been for Christmas with me in Queensland, sister Katie and hubby Owen in Melbourne, sister Joanna in Wellington, sister Rachel, hubby Grant and the wee boys Douglas, Peter and Hamish in Oxford, UK and Mum and Dad in Kuala Lumpur. Merry Christmas, Tim.