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Pat Proft

Pat Proft, a strapping five-foot-seven of solid muscle, is both writer and director, as well as producer...if you like the movie; if not, the film was written produced and directed by Eduardo Stotts. In Proft's directorial debut, he takes Leslie Nielsen through dozens of current and classic movies, spoofing liberally as they go along. Among them are scenes from a collection of films including The Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger, Mission: Impossible, Braveheart, North by Northwest, Casablanca and just about every movie Harrison Ford ever appeared in. We've also included television shows such as Baywatch, which perhaps Harrison Ford watches-it's possible. And there are things in this movie that Proft made up on his own!

Pat Proft makes his directorial debut with Wrongfully Accused. As writer or co-writer, Proft has helped to create some of the modern film era's most memorable comedies, including the famed Naked Gun trilogy (starring Leslie Nielsen), Hot Shots and its sequel Hot Shots! Part Deux, with Charlie Sheen and Lloyd Bridges.

After launching his feature film writing career with the comedy classic Police Academy, starring Steve Guttenberg and Kim Cattrall, Proft went on, with writing partner Neal Israel, to create such films as Tom Hanks' Bachelor Party, Real Genius and Moving Violations. He subsequently executive produced and wrote Lucky Stiff, a screwball comedy about cannibalism in backwoods America. Other film titles include Brain Donors (written for Paramount) and High School High, which Proft co-wrote for Tri-Star Pictures.

Proft honed his comedic skills by writing for some of America's best-loved comedy series, including The Mary Tyler Moore Comedy Hour, The Carol Burnett Show, Van Dyke and Co., The Smothers Brothers Show, Police Squad!, The Redd Foxx Show, Fernwood Tonite and Welcome Back, Kotter.

Born and raised in the Minneapolis, Minnesota suburb of Columbia Heights, Proft's natural sense of humor was fueled by television performers like Red Skelton, the Laurel and Hardy films and many other Hal Roach comedy classics. Right out of high school, Proft wrote for and performed in a comedy revue at Minneapolis' Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop for several years, then did two years of dinner theater productions at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. Proft created a successful one-man comedy act, which he performed at dozens of colleges in the late '60s and '70s. After a stint as a disc jockey and play-by-play sportscaster at radio station KBUN in Bemidji, Minnesota, Proft moved to Los Angeles in 1972. He landed at the newly-created Comedy Store, where he continued to perform regularly for the next three years.

It was at the Comedy Store that the Smothers brothers saw his act and invited him to write and perform for their show. The Comedy Store also introduced him to Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker, who promptly hired him to perform at their Kentucky Fried Theatre revue. His early association with the ZAZ team eventually led Proft to join them in creating the internationally renowned Naked Gun and later, the Hot Shots hit films with Jim Abrahams.

Married and the father of a 29-year-old son who is also a screenwriter, Proft presently makes his home in Orono, Minnesota with his wife Karen, who, as Karen Philipp, toured and recorded with Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. So there.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Pat Proft Facts

Birth Name Patrick Proft
OccupationDirector, Writer, Producer
BirthdayApril 3, 1947 (76)
BirthplaceColumbia Heights, Minnesota, USA
Height5' 7" (1m70)  How tall is Pat Proft compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Wrongfully Accused
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