It all started, more or less, with a kooky little movie released way back in 1980. It was called Airplane!, and I think it's one of the finest American comedies ever made. (Yes, I'm serious ... and don't call me Shirley.) Not many young filmmakers can rightfully claim to have created an entirely new sub-genre, but the goofball team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker were just silly enough to chance upon a comedy gold-mine: straight-faced, yet unequivocably outlandish satire that could effectively skewer a convention as readily as embrace it. (Let's face it: Airplane! poked a lot of fun at Zero Hour and the four Airport movies, but I bet you the ZAZ boys really like those flicks.)

With the disaster genre well and duly spooferized, the trio went on to lampoon spy movies (1984's hilarious Top Secret!) and police procedurals (Police Squad! on television and The Naked Gun trilogy in theaters) before mounting their first "straight" farce -- a rather brilliant kidnapping comedy called Ruthless People. After that, the boys amicably chose to go their separate ways: Jim Abrahams would go on to direct Big Business (1988) and Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael (1990) before heading back to spoofsville with Hot Shots! (1991), Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993), and Jane Austen's Mafia! (1998); Jerry Zucker would move on to direct Ghost (1990), First Knight (1995), and Rat Race (2001); his brother Dave would solo-helm the first two Naked Gun flicks, as well as BASEketball (1998) and My Boss's Daughter (2003). So clearly these are the guys to talk to when the topic of conversation is "movie spoofs."