When the movie Airplane! opened in 1980, its cast list read like a who’s who of Hollywood’s most dramatic actors, with stone-faced, straight-laced stars like Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen all appearing in the credits. But the film, of course, is one of the funniest big-screen comedies ever. It was a stroke of genius to have these usually stoic actors delivering unexpectedly hilarious lines, which only added to the laughs. David Zucker, one of the movie’s co-writers and co-directors, talked to us about the strategy of using serious actors instead of comedians, and how they inspired some of its funniest moments.