How the creators of Airplane! pulled off one of the funniest jokes we’ve ever heard
March 7, 2016 Matt Kleinschmidt Features
Holy hell! This is one of the funniest stories we’ve heard in a long time.
Ask yourself, “how far are you willing to go for a joke?” Once you’ve determined that, realize that David Zucker is willing to take it even further. First some background. David Zucker and his brother Jerry Zucker are part of a filmmaking trio that includes Jim Abrams. Together, these three men have created some of the most hilarious movies ever made including the iconic Airplane!, Top Secret!, and The Naked Gun trilogy under the team of Zucker Abrams Zucker. But we’re not here to give them praise about those films, there’s been millions of words written about those films. Rather, we’re here to tell the story about a horse.
So back to the original question – how far is David willing to go for a joke? After Zucker made his mark in Hollywood, he set out on a new locale,
Sarasota Florida Saratoga, NY.
Zucker purchased a race horse to run in
Sarasota Saratoga Race Course. While that’s not entirely funny, what he did next is a story that needs to be logged in the comedy history books.
Zucker named the horse “All Pink” and when it came for race day, he specifically instructed the jockey not to run the race for a win. Rather he instructed the jockey to run the horse around the course as close to the inside rail as possible. He then gathered with his friends at the track. Once the race began, the announcer called the play-by-play listing off the positions of the horses running down the track.
It was this horse in the lead, that horse in second place, but regardless of the position of Zucker’s horse the announcer kept yelling that it was “All Pink on the inside.”
When this phrase was yelled over a PA to a track full of people, laughs and cheers were made and one of the funniest bits we’ve heard of was born!
UPDATE: Well, David Zucker himself found this post and added some facts to the story we didn’t know (we heard it anecdotally), specifically that it took a few tries to get the call and how much the whole thing cost him.
It was 1989 through 1993. Saratoga, NY, not Sarasota Fla. The goal was to get the track announcer to call out: “…and it’s All Pink on the inside!” In fact, it took three horses over about four years. The first horse, “All Pink” ran on the inside, but never got the call. “Ol Pink” ran too close to the rail, and jumped it, ending up on the infield. Finally a mare, “Awl Pink” got the call in late ’93. A $60,000 joke.
This whole post just leveled-up.