With worldwide box office hits such as AIRPLANE! (1980), Ruthless People (1986), The Naked Gun films, Phone Booth (2002), A Walk In the Clouds (1995), and the record-breaking Scary Movie 3 (2003) and 4 (2006) all to his credit, director/writer/producer David Zucker has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers. Every one of his 15 studio films having been profitable, David’s track record remains unparalleled in a highly competitive industry.
Starting out after college with a borrowed video tape deck and camera, David recruited his brother Jerry and friend Jim Abrahams to join him in creating the Kentucky Fried Theater, setting up shop in the back of a Madison, Wisconsin bookstore. Moving the show to Los Angeles in 1972, with their groundbreaking style of outrageous sketch comedy, they became the most successful small theater group in Los Angeles history.
After parlaying this success into an iconic independent feature, Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), David, Jim, and Jerry conceived the idea that would create a whole new film genre. AIRPLANE! broke all conventions, featuring dramatic actors like Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen performing hair-brained dialogue with straight-laced sincerity. The spoof became the surprise hit of 1980, positioning David and his partners as kingpins of Hollywood comedy. Their streak of successful movies continued with the secret agent spoof Top Secret! (1984), starring Val Kilmer, and the biting farce Ruthless People, with Bette Midler and Danny DeVito, one of that year’s top-grossing films.
In 1988, David went out on his own to direct The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, a zany comedy that was a runaway hit. His 1991 The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear surpassed the original’s grosses, quickly followed by the third box-office winner, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994). David then produced A Walk in The Clouds (Keanu Reeves) and Phone Booth (Colin Farrell), which added to the list of hits, after which he directed the comedy classic BASEketball (1998), featuring South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
In 2003, David was tapped by Dimension Films to revitalize the Scary Movie comedy franchise, resulting in two more blockbusters, Scary Movie 3 and 4. Returning to producing, David turned out another hit, Superhero Movie (2008), and then an independent feature, An American Carol (2008). Recently, he wrote and produced Scary Movie 5 (2013).
David resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Danielle, a physician, and their two children, Charles, 12, an attorney, and Sarah, 10, a dental hygienist.