Airplane quotes are all around some of the funniest lines ever spoken on film, but this roundup is a fond way to remember Leslie Nielsen, who died yesterday following complications from pneumonia. Nielsen was a beloved father to two girls.
Leslie Nielsen played many roles throughout his career, but fans may best remember and love his role as Dr. Rumack in Airplane.
Here are Leslie Nielsen Airplane quotes (video below), starting with the classic “surely/Shirley” line:
Dr. Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Rumack: I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.
Rumack: You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine Dickinson: A hospital? What is it?
Rumack: It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.
Rumack: Captain, how soon can you land?
Captain Oveur: I can’t tell.
Rumack: You can tell me. I’m a doctor.
Captain Oveur: No. I mean I’m just not sure.
Rumack: Well, can’t you take a guess?
Captain Oveur: Well, not for another two hours.
Rumack: You can’t take a guess for another two hours?
Rumack: What was it we had for dinner tonight?
Elaine Dickinson: Well, we had a choice of steak or fish.
Rumack: Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna.
[after the food poisoning epidemic strikes]
Captain Oveur: What is it, Doctor? What’s going on?
Rumack: I’m not sure. I haven’t seen anything like this since the Anita Bryant concert.
Rumack: I won’t deceive you, Mr. Striker. We’re running out of time.
Ted Striker: Surely there must be something you can do.
Rumack: I’m doing everything I can… and stop calling me Shirley!
Jack: What’s going on? We have a right to know the truth!
Rumack: [to the passengers] All right, I’m going to level with you all. But what’s most important now is that you remain calm. There is no reason to panic.
[Rumack's nose grows]
Rumack: Now, it is true that one of the crew members is ill… slightly ill.
[Rumack's nose grows again, like Pinocchio]
Rumack: But the other two pilots… they’re just fine. They’re at the controls flying the plane… free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.
Some of Leslie Nielsen’s Airplane quotes are in this video: