The hilarious 1980 comedy Airplane! is making a viral comeback in the form of a meme poking fun at the United Airlines incident involving a passenger who was forcibly dragged off a plane.
The social media clip features the movie’s iconic “slap scene” with Lee Bryant as a terrified Mrs. Hammen, overlaid with text reading “United Airlines Training Video.” The video, viewed over 42 million times on Facebook, shows Mrs. Hammen getting hit in the face and shaken by a series of ridiculous passengers to calm her down.
”It was great fun to do in the first place and it’s still funny, it still works. It’s just be funny to be part of it,” Bryant, 71, told DNAinfo New York.
Bryant says she started getting tons of phone calls, texts and emails when the meme — which she calls “absurd” and “horrendous” — started going viral.
And while she says the treatment of the United Airlines passenger, identified as Dr. David Dao, was “out of control,” the Airplane! scene is still hilarious even decades later.
“I said the classic thing is that the hysterical person gets slapped. How about we do that? And get somebody else like a nun to come in that you wouldn’t expect?” she told DNAinfo.
Bryant was actually the genius behind the slap scene.
She told directors Jim Abrahams and David Zucker that instead of passengers shaking her, as the original script called for, they should consider a good, hard slap, according to the publication.
At this time Bryant isn’t sure if she’ll boycott the airline — she’s already booked a United flight to Los Angeles in May.