TV - Movies
Kareem Abdul
Jabbar Agreed
To Do Airplane!
Under One
Condition
By JEFF SCHECTMAN
The summer of 1980 brought us a genre-defining movie in the slapstick laugh-fest "Airplane!," which hurled jokes so fast that audiences didn't know what hit them. The casting department made some inspired choices, including basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as co-pilot, Roger Murdock.
Not exactly known for his sense of humor, one has to wonder how the opinionated Abdul-Jabbar ever agreed to be in this movie in the first place. Abdul-Jabbar agreed to star in the film for $35,000, as that was the price of a decorative rug he was interested in.
The filmmakers thought Abdul-Jabbar's agent was finding a creative way to ask for more money until they saw a published picture of the Los Angeles Laker star with his new $35,000 rug. Abdul-Jabbar has starred in dozens of projects over the years, but it's hard to imagine any of them being funnier or more memorable than when he did "Airplane!" for a carpet.