The Wisconsin-born and educated David Zucker, with his brother, Jerry, and Jim Abrahams, worked with the improvisational Kentucky Fried Theater in Madison, WI, before coming to movies in 1977 with Kentucky Fried Movie, a dazzlingly funny satire of movies, television, and popular culture. Written, produced, and directed by the trio, Kentucky Fried Movie became an unexpected success. They followed this up three years later with the monster hit Airplane!, a brutally funny take-off of disaster movies that not only brought an end to that genre, but made the trio into one of the hottest teams in screen comedy. Top Secret! (1984) wasn't nearly as successful, although it did make a profit. However, Ruthless People (1986) was a hit. During the early '80s, the Zuckers were responsible for a short-lived cop show parody called Police Squad, starring Leslie Nielsen, a one-time dramatic film actor who had emerged as a comedy star in Airplane! The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) was borne from the Police Squad parody and proved a monster hit; this was followed by Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994).