Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is known by most people as a Lakers legend and an NBA Hall of Famer. But to some, he will always be Roger Murdock, the co-pilot on the classic comedy movie “Airplane!”
On Tuesday, a new commercial was released where Abdul-Jabbar re-creates that classic role, alongside “Airplane!” star Robert Hays and Otto, the auto-pilot, in an ad for Travel Wisconsin.
Watching the ad, which you can see in the video above, reminds me of this classic exchange when a young boy named Joey visited the cockpit during the movie:
Joey: Wait a minute. I know you. You’re Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. You play basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Roger Murdock: I’m sorry, son, but you must have me confused with someone else. My name is Roger Murdock. I’m the co-pilot.
Joey: You are Kareem! I’ve seen you play. My dad’s got season tickets.
Roger Murdock: I think you should go back to your seat now, Joey. Right, Clarence?
Captain Oveur: Nahhhhhh, he’s not bothering anyone. Let him stay here.
Roger Murdock: But just remember, my name is... [showing his name tag] Roger Murdock. I’m an airline pilot.
Joey: I think you’re the greatest, but my dad says you don’t work hard enough on defense.
[Kareem gets angry]
Joey: And he says that lots of times, you don’t even run down court. And that you don’t really try... except during the playoffs.
Roger Murdock: [breaking character] The hell I don’t! LISTEN, KID! I’ve been hearing that ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.