Some years later Queen Elizabeth II attended a Oakland A's vs Baltimore Orioles game in Baltimore and met both teams in their respective dugouts. Reggie Jackson, then an Oakland A's coach, was the first person in the receiving line in the Oakland dugout. Some news channels showed gag footage from the movie of the Queen impersonator throwing out the first pitch. Leslie Nielsen actually met the real Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.
According to David Zucker in the DVD commentary, the studio insisted on the casting of an Oscar winner in one of the major roles. This led to the casting of George Kennedy, who had been actively campaigning for the role of Ed Hocken for months, saying that he was furious at having missed his chance to spoof himself in the movie Airplane! (1980).
The baseball blooper reel shows a ballplayer's head coming off when he crashes into a fence. This scene is a tribute to a quote from San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman: "Winfield goes back to the wall. He hits his head on the wall - and it rolls off! It's rolling all the way back to second base! This is a terrible thing for the Padres."
This movie is a big-screen version of the cult cop spoof series Police Squad! (1982). The title was changed to avoid confusion with the Police Academy series of films, which were also co-created by Pat Proft. David Zucker remembers that they were given a list of about 20 potential titles, and they chose 'The Naked Gun' because it 'promised so much more than it could possibly deliver'.
During Vincent Ludwig's first encounter with Frank Drebin, Ludwig is feeding his "fighting fish" small minnows. This is identical to a scene in the Bruce Lee movie "Game of Death" where we see Dr. Land (the main villain) feeding the same fish.
The terrorist organization that Frank attacks and beats up in the opening scene was written as a obvious nod to SPECTRE, the terrorist organization in the James Bond films. Leslie Nielsen later starred in the spy spoof "Spy Hard".
The conversation between Ludwig and Papschmear about "Sensory Induced Hypnosis" is a direct spoof of a scene in Telefon (1977), where Charles Bronson is offered a demonstration of "Drug Induced Hypnosis"
The painting that Drebin accidentally destroys in Ludwig's house is "Blue Boy", the most famous work of Thomas Gainsborough. The original painting is housed in the Huntington Library (San Marino, California).
Reggie Jackson is depicted as an outfielder for the California Angels and Jay Johnstone is depicted as a player for the Seattle Mariners. Though both are legit former major league players, both had been retired by the time this movie was released. Jackson retired as an Oakland A's (his original team) in 1987 and Johnstone had retired as a Los Angeles Dodger in 1985.
The kitchen background (as Drebin asks if Jane would still like something to eat), has a food item pulsating. 'Weird Al' Yankovic - who makes a cameo in this film - uses a similar gag for his "Livin in the Fridge" video, five years later.
The marching band seen trampling Vincent Ludwig outside Dodger Stadium at the end of the film is the "Spirit of Troy" Marching Band from the nearby University of Southern California (USC). The band you actually hear is the Rice University Marching Owl Band (the MOB). They are thanked in the credits.
The scene in which Frank descends from the plane and talks to Ed (before Al Yankovic's appearance) is a nod to Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game (1939). The dialog is not exactly the same, but the setup mirrors the beginning of that film (a man has achieved a remarkable feat, yet is saddened that his love is not there to greet him).
Both Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy were involved in disaster movies about airplanes (Kennedy as the Airplane pilot in the Airport movie series and Nielsen as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 film Airplane, a parody version of the Airport movie series).
At some point in their careers, Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy starred in slasher\horror films, a very popular genre during the early 80's. Nielsen starred as the father of the female lead character in the cult classic movie Prom Night while Kennedy (also as the female lead character's father) in the 1982 movie Wacko, a spoof version of Prom Night. Also, they both appeared in different disaster movies as pilot or captain (Nielsen as a Ship captain in The Poseidon Adventure and Kennedy as an Airplane Pilot).
The name for O.J. Simpson's character, Nordberg, was taken from a manufacturing company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Nordberg plant was located at Oklahoma and Chase Avenues and featured a huge "Nordberg" sign visible to passers-by on Highway 94. The factory was purchased by Metso Minerals and has since closed in 2004.
Before starring in The Naked Gun (1988) both Leslie Nielson and George Kennedy acted in the Creepshow films. Leslie Nielson plays Richard Vickers in the "Something to Tide You Over" segment of Creepshow (1982). George Kennedy plays Ray Spruce in the "Old Chief Woodenhead" segment of Creepshow 2 (1987).
When Frank first meets Jane his narration is a parody of Phillip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely...and visually a parody of the film version from 1975 starring Robert Mitchum. Jane wears a red dress, walks down a staircase, and her hair is the "color of gold in old paintings."
David Zucker: in the opening credits as a man fixing a picture up onto the wall of his house when the police squad car drives into the hallway. The director turns around and jumps into the room next door.
The device that induces characters to accept commands to kill someone is similar to to what the parasitic life forms in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) do. Ricardo Montalban plays the villain in both films. However, the hypnosis plot is actually lifted from the movie Telefon (1977).