German Scientist as Villain and Comedic Foil

naked gun poster

1991, Paramount

Around the third minute of The Formula (1980), there is a roundtable introduction of German leaders and scientists during WWII.  The scene reminded me of a similar scene in the comedy Naked Gun 2 ½ (1991) introducing the titans of the energy industry and Dr. Meinheimer.  After Peter Sellers’s masterful portrayal of Dr. Strangelove (in a movie coincidentally starring Formula star George C. Scott) it seems  German scientists became excellent fodder as screen villains AND comedic foils in the movies. Is it also possible that the writers of Naked Gun 2 ½ were parodying The Formula?

While I’m at it, it is worth pointing out that one of the humorous plotlines in Naked Gun 2 ½  is the idea that Dr. Meinheimer, a distinguished scientist—rather than politicians or cronies—would be in charge of energy policy.  Come to think of it, that idea does seem kind of funny, isn’t it? Or is it just sad that it’s so far from the truth?

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