So after about a week and a half I guess it's time to pull my head out of my ass and start writing on this thing a little bit more. Apologies to anyone who's been sorely missing me. Work/family/laziness have prevented me from putting much effort into the blog over the last few days.
But today I'm excited to officially introduce the first installment of "This Week in Non-Naked Gun Leslie Nielsen." Nielsen won the poll over competition Keanu Reeves and Gillian Anderson (although they both got some love too so maybe they'll work their way into future segments). I'd give kudos to the guy/girl who suggested him, but they chose to remain anonymous. Either that or the person's name is Anonymous, in which case they probably have a pretty tough time getting through the airport.
Anyway, folks who know Leslie Nielsen know him for two things: The Naked Gun's Frank Drebin and Airplane!'s Dr. Rumack. What most people don't recognize, however, is the 150+ movie and television roles he churned out in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. This guy liked to keep busy. Not only that, in his early career he actually played the leading-man type. Keep in mind that playing the leading man in early film and television didn't seem to require much more than memorizing your lines.
With that in mind, I bring you a gem that I found on YouTube from a cop show called The New Breed. In it, Nielsen plays Lt. Price Adams, a detective for the LAPD Metro Squad. From what I can gather, it's a poor man's Dragnet. Enjoy.
Can I first point out that YouTube really is the best place to find the most gloriously pointless clips. Who the hell even has The New Breed on film, much less the time and inclination to upload it on their computer and post it for the world to see? I'm not going to rule out the possibility that it was Leslie Nielsen himself.
Setting that aside, am I the only one who thinks 1950s television is priceless? This was a time when viewers had a narrator read the opening credits to them, and a slap from a woman was invariably an implicit invitation to a mind-numbing kiss. It was a time when it was perfectly acceptable for a 12-year-old suburbanite to wander the LA hills armed with a bow and arrow, and police interrogations were held with zen-like calm inside what can only be described as a large cardboard box with a door.
Clips like this are exactly what I hope to find when I start looking through a person's lesser-known back catalog. And I think next week's going to prove to be even better. Apparently, Nielsen had a guest spot in the original Kung Fu series. That's right, gang. Leslie Nielsen is going to be performing martial arts. And not as a joke. I can't wait.