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movies.
She played the part in Airport.
Universal threatened to sue.
Remember, we tried
to get George Kennedy?
And he didn't want
to rock the Universal boat.
Universal was the enemy then.
And they are once again.
- Mon dieu.
- Mon dieu?
- Lorna had her own series.
- This song was written by...
- Peter Yarrow.
- Of Peter, Paul and Mary.
We were on a show,
"Razzle Dazzle Rock'n'Roll".
Yeah, and we had to pay
for the rights and everything.
And he sold the rights
and then he saw the movie,
and saw how we had used
this wonderful song.
And he thought it was sacrilege.
He was really mad at us.
Not necessarily at us,
he was just angry
that he had given up the rights,
that he'd sold his song, because he'd
written this for a friend's wedding
and it was a touching, personal,
heartfelt, emotional song for him.
And it ended up
in this piece of crap.
We used it in this sordid way.
I always took that personally.
I always wondered what would happen
if we ran into Peter Yarrow today.
I don't know.
He's probably gotten over it by now.
What would he say?
"You guys, it's like..."
"You're those Airplane guys."
- Jill Whelan?
- Yeah.
She later appeared on Love Boat
as one of the main characters.
Jerry showed her how to do that.
Jerry did that a lot on set.
Following around Robert Stack
telling him how to do
John Byner doing Robert Stack.
- Shall we tell that story?
- Yeah!
We had always listened
to some record we had
where John Byner
imitated Robert Stack.
And he was..."He's the big chief,
the top dog, the main man..."
I can't remember
what Byner's dialogue was,
but something about Elliott Ness
and droning on, yeah.
And I don't imitate it well
but it was that kind of cadence,
so we wrote the lines
in the control tower.
At some point, probably shouldn't
tell this till we get to it,
you'll remember it,
we'll make it so much more exciting,
waiting for when
we actually get there.
Anyway, so we wrote these lines
when Bridges says to him it's...
He's got to do what we say,
or whatever,
and then Stack says, "No, no,
it's his command now" and drones on
and so we were hysterical,
thinking about Robert Stack
doing John Byner's imitation...
So we wrote that part
for Robert Stack.
That was the one part
we really wrote for him,
But we always had him in mind,
and so we got to the first rehearsal,
and it was on the set, I think.
On the set that day.
And we get to that part
in the rehearsal and Stack reads it,
"It's his ship, now! His command!
He's in charge!"
And it was a whole
different person doing Robert Stack
I'm not doing him justice,
my apologies, Bob,
but it just wasn't that imitation,
so first I tried to explain
to do it faster
and finally I had to do a reading of
my imitation of Byner doing Stack.
'Cause Jerry and I had been
doing Byner at college for years.
He was really nice, Bob Stack.
- He was.
- I remember on the first day
I had to ask him to dye his hair,
and he said, "Kid, don't worry,
you bought the body."
He had such a great sense of humour
about himself
and everything he's ever done.
He was the one who got the joke.
He really understood it, too,
because one of
the first read-throughs,
Lloyd Bridges had a lot of questions,
Lloyd was a great guy too
but had a lot of questions.
"Why would my character say this
and why would..."
He was trying
to make sense out of it.
And Stack just laughed and said,
"Lloyd, there's a watermelon
hitting the desk behind us
"and a spear flying into the wall,
"nobody's watching us!"
Yeah, that was Stack.
I remember him telling Lloyd,
"We are the joke - just keep going!"
- Did he say that?
- Oh, yeah.
- Stack was right on.
- He got it.
Lloyd half got it.
In 1974, when we finished
the first draft of the movie,
we called up Stack's agent
to see if he'd be in it,
and what did the agent say?
"Is this a go picture?"
And we said, "What's a go picture?"
He said, "Call back
when you get
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