Jim Abrahams

Director, Screenwriter, Producer
With college friends Jerry and David Zucker, Jim Abrahams is co-founder of the Kentucky Fried Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1969. ZAZ (as they came to be known) subsequently moved their satirical group to Los ... Read more »
Born: 05/09/1944 in Shorewood, Wisconsin, USA

Filmography

Writer (10)

Scary Movie 4 2006 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mafia! 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult 1994 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hot Shots! Part Deux 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hot Shots! 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Top Secret! 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Kentucky Fried Movie 1977 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (10)

Mafia! 1998 (Movie)

(Director)

... First Do No Harm 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Director

Hot Shots! Part Deux 1993 (Movie)

(Director)

Hot Shots! 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

Big Business 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Ruthless People 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Top Secret! 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Police Squad! 1981 - 1982 (Tv Show)

Director

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (6)

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult 1994 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear 1991 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Cry Baby 1990 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad! 1988 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Top Secret! 1984 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Actor (4)

Coming to America 1988 (Movie)

Face on Cutting Room Floor (Actor)

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

Religious Zealot #6 (Actor)

The Kentucky Fried Movie 1977 (Movie)

1st Technician (Actor)

Biography

With college friends Jerry and David Zucker, Jim Abrahams is co-founder of the Kentucky Fried Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1969. ZAZ (as they came to be known) subsequently moved their satirical group to Los Angeles and set up a theater there. They made their first venture into feature filmmaking with "The Kentucky Fried Movie" (1977). Directed by John Landis, the film was a memorable series of absurd, vulgar and (mostly) wildly funny send-ups of popular culture. Most of their subsequent work has been in a similar vein. "Airplane!" (1980), "Top Secret!" (1984) and "The Naked Gun" (1988) pay satirical homage to, respectively, the disaster film, the spy film and the police film. Trademark features include scattershot pop culture allusions, rapid-fire anything-for-a-laugh gags, and rugged, but notoriously stiff, second echelon actors from the 1950s (e.g., Robert Stack, Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves).

Relationships

Nancy Abrahams

Wife

Jamie Abrahams

Child

Joseph Abrahams

Son

Charles Abrahams

Son
born c. 1992 suffers with epilepsy on special high-fat diet family story became the basis for a TV-movie starring Meryl Streep

EDUCATION

University of Wisconsin at Madison

Madison , Wisconsin

Milestones

1998

Helmed the spoof "Mafia!"

1997

Returned to TV to direct and co-executive produce ". . . first do no harm" (ABC); the telefilm's subject had personal resonance as Abrahams' son Charlie was treated with the controversial diet depicted in the film

1988

Solo directing debut, "Big Business"

1982

TV directing, producing, and writing debut, "Police Squad!"

1980

First film as co-director and co-executive producer, "Airplane!" (also co-writer)

1977

First film as co-writer and actor, "Kentucky Fried Movie"

1972

Moved Kentucky Fried Theater to Los Angeles

1968

With David and Jerry Zucker, formed the Kentucky Fried Theater in Madison, Wisconsin

Bonus Trivia

.

"'NO ORIGINALITY is our credo,' proudly states Abrahams. 'What we set out to do first of all was to find a genre that takes itself seriously, and that whole genre of 'going in to get the guys' is a genre that takes itself VERY seriously. Then, keeping in mind our motto--NO ORIGINALITY--we had to steal our love stories and our bad guy stories and the rest of our stories from real movies.'"--From publicity material for "Hot Shots! Part Deux"

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