Study Guide

Airplane! Suicidal Seatmates

Suicidal Seatmates

One of Airplane!'s classic recurring gags is story time with Ted, in which our not-so-charismatic protagonist literally bores his seatmates to death.

These hapless passengers, an elderly lady, an Indian man, and for some reason, a WWII-era Japanese general (who, BTW, was played by James Hong, a famous character actor who played David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China), never utter a single line. Instead, ZAZ expertly use visual humor to illustrate Ted's cluelessness in driving his seatmates to suicide rather having to listen to any more of his war stories.

Maybe try to snag a window seat next time so you can pretend to sleep.