Steve McCroskey is the gruff, fast-talking Chicago air traffic controller who does his darndest to help get the airplane on the ground. He also apparently really picked the wrong week to quit smoking, not to mention drinking and sniffing glue. The part is minor, but certainly memorable; veteran actor Lloyd Bridges (father of actor and notable "The Dude" Jeff Bridges) goes all out in this role.
Bridges' performance is deadpan, just like those of fellow veteran actors Leslie Nielsen and Peter Graves. And just like Rumack and Oveur, McCroskey's success depends on the wholesale commitment of the actor to maintain a straight face through all the absurdity.