Movie executives — and maybe Kenny Loggins — have been salivating for a Top Gun sequel ever since it soared (pun very intended) to the top of the box office in 1986. I wouldn’t be surprised if some studio exec had hired a fighter pilot to write out dollar signs in the sky over Tom Cruise’s house, but regardless of whatever tactics were used, something seems to have worked.
Recently, we told you that Maverick will likely fly once again, only this time he’ll be battling drones, because they’re the new Russian baddies. In celebration of Maverick’s return to the cockpit and Tom Cruise’s 53rd birthday (which was yesterday… he wasn’t actually born on the 4th of July), I thought it appropriate to look at the movie’s impact on pop culture with a rundown of all the (loving) spoofs and parodies it has inspired over the last 30 years.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Top Gun style
The new Star Wars trailer had just about every other kind of edit/parody so it was only natural that a Top Gun version would happen eventually. You gotta admit, though, there really is no better song to be blasting on the Millennium Falcon’s speakers than “Danger Zone.”
Kroll Show — “Drones”
Top Gun 2’s idea might be a battle against drones, but Nick Kroll beat them to the punch with his Kroll Show parody. It might lack heart-racing adrenaline and romance, but the guy does have a minor case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and there’s a serious risk of Duck spilling his coffee.
Gay Top Gun
Quentin Tarantino makes a point, lot of butt talk going on for a movie supposedly about heterosexual men.
Rob Riggle pleads for Top Gun 2
If you’re going to be playing Maverick’s new bff, his enemy, or the random guy who laughs at this corny joke at the bar, you’ve got to be comfortable flying in a fighter jet. Even if you’re just an extra, I’m pretty sure fighter jet experience is still mandatory for working on Top Gun 2. That’s why Rob Riggle aka “Ringtone” called upon his friends the Blue Angels.
How It Should Have Ended: Top Gun
Tony Scott did a nice job with Top Gun, but it took the popular web series HISHE to finally give the movie the ending it always needed. Iceman was a reckless dick and deserved to be clocked upside the head. Either that or he and Maverick should have dropped the charade and made-out with that Berlin song playing in the background.
HIMYM — Barney needs his Maverick
Ted Mosby would do a thing like deny Barney the chance to have an awesome duo Halloween costume and refuse to be his Maverick. Barney had his aviators ready and everything. So lame, Mosby.
Archer — “Danger Zone”
There are many, many reasons to love Archer, but among those are its constant references to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.” So it was only natural that the show would pay tribute to Top Gun as it did with its season five trailer. Man, was Lana ever rocking the hell out of that Kelly McGillis hair.
SNL — “Top Gun Screen tests”
Bill Hader could have probably done every one of these, including the female parts and it would have probably still been brilliant. I’ll never be able to watch Top Gun again without hearing “classy fries” in my head.
SNL — “Iceman, the later years”
What did ever become of Iceman after blasting those Russians out of the sky? Maybe he went on to a long-lasting military career, but it’s far more likely he settled into a nice, cushy job as a commercial airline pilot. The only mach 3 he’s riding these days is his razor blade. He’s dangerous and a little sad.
There really is no better Top Gun parody than 1991’s underrated slapstick spoof Hot Shots. Charlie Sheen was riding high as a comedic actor at the time thanks to Major League, and Jim Abrahams already had a strong film resume from movies like Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Pairing them together was a perfect comedy combination and gave us the mother of all Top Gun gags.