The Kentucky Fried Movie

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kentucky Fried Movie movie poster 4131.jpg

"I'm not wearing any pants. Film at 11."

Describe The Kentucky Fried Movie here.

Now, that's a tall order. The Kentucky Fried Movie was a 1977 Sketch Comedy film based on Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker's earlier work at the Kentucky Fried Theater, and was directed by John Landis. The film is affectionately remembered for a number of parodies and groundbreaking comedic styles.

Like all ZAZ works, parody is highly valued, and the fourth wall is almost nonexistent.

Tropes used in The Kentucky Fried Movie include:
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The song used in the opening and closing credits is an actual recording from a somewhat obscure '30s dance craze, not a parody song written for the movie.
  • Badass Bookworm: The ultraorthodox Jew in Cleopatra Schwartz.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The song played when Big Jim Slade bursts into the room is "Hevenu Shalom Aleichem", a Hebrew song used in the welcoming of people. So the soundtrack is literally welcoming him into the film.
  • Blaxploitation Parody: Cleopatra Schwartz.
  • Bowdlerise: There is an edited for TV version that shows up on Comedy Central sometimes. Of course, all the nudity in the 11:00 News sketch is edited out with pan and scan tricks, and "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble" is simply excised completely, even though credits for the sketch still show up at the end.
  • The Cameo: In That's Armageddon!, "Donald Sutherland as the clumsy waiter!"
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Catholic High School Girls in Trouble.
  • Courtroom Antic
  • Disaster Movie: That's Armageddon!.
  • Dojikko: "Carol" in the "Feel-Around" sketch, a rare western example.
  • Every One Remembers the Stripper: "Catholic High School Girls in Trouble" is probably the best-known skit in the film after "A Fistful of Yen".
  • Fan Disservice: Played for laughs during the "Catholic High School Girls In Trouble" sketch - but it does include a great deal of straight-up Fan Service too.
  • Film At Eleven / Kent Brockman News
  • Game Show Appearance: 2. Parodies of the Dating Game in Fistful of Yen as well as What's My Line? in the courtroom scene.
  • Happy Birthday to You: The use of this song in the film cost the filmmakers $10,000.
  • Homage
  • Housewife: A parody of educational films features one tortured by an omnipotent narrator because she took zinc for granted.
  • It Got Worse: The "Zinc" filmstrip sketch starts out with soap disappearing and ends with a woman's child shot, her husband dead of a heart attack, her car nonfunctional, and her house burning down.
  • Mega Corp: Argon Oil. "At Argon, we're working to keep your money."
  • N-Word Privileges: Spoofed aversion: Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker shouts the word in the middle of a large group of black people and runs.
    • Apparently, said black guys volunteered to be in the sketch, and took no offense at its concept, averting it in a meta sense.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Pants-Free
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: Catholic High School Girls in Trouble, That's Armageddon! and Cleopatra Schwartz.
    • The DVD commentary reveals that the actress playing Cleopatra would take the job only if there was a contractual obligation that she would play the character in any full-length version of the material.
  • Refuge in Audacity
  • Running Gag: Samuel L. Broncowitz produces every movie with a trailer featured in the film...and actually shows up in the trailer for "The Kentucky Fried Movie".
  • Salt and Pepper: Cleopatra Schwartz is married to an ultraorthodox Jew.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Cleopatra Schwartz.
  • Take That: Makeup artist and occasional gorilla portrayer Rick Baker plays a grouchy, sexually impotent gorilla named Dino — named for Dino De Laurentiis, whose King Kong remake the previous year featured Baker as Kong. It was not a happy experience for Baker...
  • The Television Talks Back: TV news anchormen get distracted by the characters making out in front of the TV.
  • They Fight Crime: Cleopatra Schwartz and her Hasidic Jew husband.
  • Wall-Bang Her: Catholic High School Girls in Trouble.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: As with many ZAZ films, much of the humor is pun-derived. The "Catholic High School Girls In Trouble segment has the following gems: a woman seductively asks a man to "show me your nuts," and in response the man makes silly faces and hand puppets, demonstrating his lack of mental stability. Two pornographic actresses are said to be introduced in the film in the credits - and a third has them both greet and shake hands with each other while in the nude. "Linda Chambers" is to recreate her classic role - she does a pencil roll across the grass.

The extended skit "A Fistful of Yen" also features the following tropes:

Ada Gronick: [speaking quietly] The guards will have to be bribed. We'll need money.
Loo: We can raise the money, that's no problem. [Reaches up and pulls down an overhead microphone, speaks into it] But that would be wrong.