'This is like home': Airplane! director returns to Shorewood, promotes new book

’This is like home’: Airplane! director returns to Shorewood, promotes new book

SHOREWOOD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Before finding Hollywood success, the Shorewood trio of David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams were working to earn laughs inside of the auditorium at Shorewood High School. Nearly 60 years later, David Zucker has returned to Shorewood and is still getting those laughs.

"We would write skits for assemblies, right here and perform them in this room," Zucker said, the '66 graduate recalling his high school days. "This is like home."

The Hollywood director, producer and screenwriter, best known for the 1980 comedy classic, "Airplane!"  was brought back home in partnership with the Shorewood Foundation and Shorewood School District to speak with high school students and participate in a public screening of the movie, "Airplane!" while also promoting the new book he wrote with his brother, Jerry, and Abrahams, Surely You Can't be Serious: The True Story of Airplane.

Tim Kenney is the principal at Shorewood High School and grew up in the community. His father knew Zucker well.

"When I was growing up, I would be subjected as a younger child to watching the Airplane! movies," Kenney said. "My dad would be talking, pointing out the characters who were teachers at Shorewood, or classmates and things like that."

While it's cool for students to meet a famous alum like Zucker and learn about his journey, Kenny says the director also serves as an inspiration to the students.

"I think the realization for them that Shorewood High School is a place of opportunity for all students, and they have a chance to meet someone like David and be like 'Wow, that could be me,'" Kenney said. "I think having that personal connection and hearing the message and realizing that it really means something to go to school here, be a part of the school, graduate from here and take your talents out to the world. That you can do what you want to do, and I think that's a really important message for them."

For Zucker, he was happy to share his story with the students and is hopeful fans of the Airplane! film will want to hear other stories shared in the new book.

"Any fan of the movie will love the book," Zucker said. "People from Shorewood will get a lot of things; there's so many Shorewood and Milwaukee and Madison references."

The book can be purchased here. 

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