David Zucker (filmmaker): American film director, producer, and screenwriter (1947-) | Biography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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David Zucker (filmmaker)
American film director, producer, and screenwriter

David Zucker (filmmaker)

David Zucker (filmmaker)
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film director, producer, and screenwriter
Is Film director Film producer Screenwriter Actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 16 October 1947, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Age 75 years
Star sign Libra
Politics Republican Party
The details (from wikipedia)


David S. Zucker (born October 16, 1947) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Associated mostly with parody comedies, Zucker is recognized as the director and writer of the critically successful 1980 film Airplane! as well as being the creator of The Naked Gun franchise and for directing Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4.

Personal life

Zucker was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Charlotte A. (Lefstein) and Burton C. Zucker, who was a real estate developer. He graduated from Shorewood High School. Zucker is married to Dr. Danielle (Ardolino) Zucker, with whom he has two children, Charles and Sarah. Zucker was raised Jewish from both parent, and married Danielle in May 1997. His younger brother, Jerry, is his filmmaking partner. The Zucker brothers have a sister, Susan Breslau.

When asked in a September 2014 interview by the BBC if he believes in God, Zucker replied:

Oh yeah, I believe in God. I think there's much more evidence that there is a God than that there isn't. I don't believe that Mother Teresa and Hitler go to the same place. I believe in justice, maybe not in this life, but there has to be justice. And if there isn't a God, I think it would be very depressing. I'd prefer to believe there is.


Zucker's movies include The Kentucky Fried Movie in 1977, Ruthless People in 1986, The Naked Gun in 1988, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear in 1991, BASEketball in 1998, Scary Movie 3 in 2003, and its sequel Scary Movie 4 in 2006. Out of 18 works he is associated with,Phone Booth, which he produced in 2002, is the only non-comedic film.

He co-directed several films including Airplane! in 1980 and Top Secret! in 1984; along with his brother, Jerry, and Jim Abrahams, the trio make up the ZAZ team of directors. He has also worked with Pat Proft (with whom he first teamed up on the Naked Gun show Police Squad!) and Craig Mazin (writer of three of the five Scary Movies).

ZAZ and Proft helped develop the parody genre of films, in which jokes are spit out with rapid-fire, using puns, physical humor, wit, and double entendres. Some of the veteran actors of ZAZ's vision of parody include Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Charlie Sheen, Julie Hagerty, and Anna Faris (Faris starred in four of the Scary Movie series).

Looking back on his career in 2009, Leslie Nielsen said the best film he appeared in was The Naked Gun, and that Zucker was his favorite director to work with. Nielsen said of him, "He came to me one time and said, 'Leslie, I'll never make you do anything that is not funny.' And he kept his word." Most consider his greatest work to be Airplane!, which has brought on many accolades (including preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress).

In his movies, his mother, Charlotte was often cast in a small bit part (like the lady trying to put on make-up in Airplane!, one of the Lucille Ball impersonators in Rat Race, and Vincent Ludwig's secretary, Dominique, in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!).

Zucker has stated that his dream project is a Davy Crockett biographical film. He mentioned his enthusiasm for the Davy Crockett project during an interview in 2006 for the feature-length documentary, That Guy: The Legacy of Dub Taylor, on the life of Dub Taylor, which has received support from the Taylor Family and many of Dub's previous co-workers, including Bill Cosby, Peter Fonda, Dixie Carter, Don Collier, Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, as well as others. The project had its World Premiere at Taylor's Childhood Hometown of Augusta, Georgia on April 14, 2007. The project is from Executive Producers Stokes and James Kicklighter from JamesWorks Entertainment and Professor Pauper Productions. Part of his interview is on YouTube.

Zucker began to focus more on politics starting in 2004 when he began working on political ads for the Republican Party. In 2008, he made the political parody movie An American Carol. In 2015, he made a video he called Side Effects attacking President Barack Obama for his Iran nuclear deal in the form of a parody prescription drug ad. Zucker would discuss in 2016 that he was working on a script for a fourth Naked Gun film with Pat Proft.

Recurring cast members

Among all of his directed and/or produced parody films, Zucker had frequently cast the late Leslie Nielsen.

Actor Airplane!
Ruthless People
Naked Gun: From
the Files of
Police Squad!

The Naked Gun
2½: The
Smell of Fear

My Boss'

Scary Movie 3
Scary Movie 4
An American

Anthony Anderson NoN NoN
Carmen Electra NoN NoN
Anna Faris NoN NoN
Regina Hall NoN NoN
Kevin Hart NoN NoN
George Kennedy NoN NoN
Michael Madsen NoN NoN
Jenny McCarthy NoN NoN
Edward Moss NoN NoN NoN
Leslie Nielsen NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Priscilla Presley NoN NoN
Bill Pullman NoN NoN
Simon Rex NoN NoN NoN
Molly Shannon NoN NoN
Charlie Sheen NoN NoN
O. J. Simpson NoN NoN
Ed Williams NoN NoN


Year Film Director Producer Screenwriter Role
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie Yes Man/Technician #2/Grunwald
1980 Airplane! Yes Yes Ground Crewman #2
1984 Top Secret! Yes Yes German Soldier in Prop Room
1986 Ruthless People Yes
1988 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Yes Yes
1991 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear Yes Yes Davy Crockett
1993 For Goodness Sake Yes
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Yes Yes Teleprompter Guy
1995 Your Studio and You Himself
1996 High School High Yes Yes
1998 BASEketball Yes Yes Yes Man with Shooting Hot Dog
2002 Phone Booth Yes
2003 My Boss's Daughter Yes
Scary Movie 3 Yes Yes
2006 Scary Movie 4 Yes Yes Zoltar (voice)
2008 The Onion Movie Yes
Superhero Movie Yes
An American Carol Yes Yes Yes
2013 Scary Movie 5 Yes Yes Packer Fan
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