Several years later, Queen Elizabeth II attended a Oakland A's versus Baltimore Orioles game in Baltimore, Maryland, 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 this movie of the Queen's impersonator throwing out the first pitch. Leslie Nielsen 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 several months, saying that he was furious at having missed his chance to spoof himself in 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 continuation of the cult cop spoof series Police Squad! (1982). The title was changed to avoid confusion with the Police Academy film franchise, which were also co-created by Pat Proft. David Zucker remembers that they were given a list of about twenty potential titles, and they chose "The Naked Gun" because it "promised so much more than it could possibly deliver".
During Vincent Ludwig's (Ricardo Montalban's) first encounter with Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen), Ludwig is feeding his "fighting fish" small minnows. This is identical to a scene in Bruce Lee's Game of Death (1978) where we see Dr. Land (Dean Jagger) (the main villain) feeding the same fish.
Lieutenant Frank Drebin's (Leslie Nielsen's) line about shooting the Shakespeare in the Park performers is a close parody of a line Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) said about shooting a rapist in Dirty Harry (1971).
A few characters from the television series were re-cast for the film franchise, these include O.J. Simpson (replacing Peter Lupus as Norberg, which has the spelling changed to Nordberg), and George Kennedy (replacing Alan North as Ed Hocken). Leslie Nielsen (as Lieutenant Frank Drebin), Ed Williams (as Ted Olsen), and Tiny Ron (as Al) were the only main characters to stay the same.
Susan Beaubian played Mrs. Nordberg, the wife of the character played by O.J. Simpson. Many years later Beaubian starred in The People v. O.J. Simpson, which was the first season of FX's crime anthology series American Crime Story (2016), about the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
DIRECTOR CAMEO (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. Zucker turns around and jumps into the room next door.
The painting that Drebin accidentally destroyed in Ludwig's house was "Blue Boy", the most famous work of Thomas Gainsborough. The original painting is housed in the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California.
The conversation between Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) and Pahpshmir (Raye Birk) 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".
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 legitimately former major league players, both had retired by the time this movie was released. Jackson retired as an Oakland A (his original team) in 1987 and Johnstone had retired as a Los Angeles Dodger in 1985.
The device that induced characters to accept commands to kill someone is similar to what the parasitic life forms in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) did. Ricardo Montalban played the villain in both films. However, the hypnosis plot was a spoof of a scene from Telefon (1977).
The scene in which Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) descends from the plane and talks to Ed Hocken (George Kennedy) (before "Weird Al" Yankovic's appearance) is a nod to Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game (1939). The dialogue is not exactly the same, but the set-up 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).
In Double Indemnity (1944), Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is flirting with Phyliss Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) when he first meets her, and says, "That's a honey of an ankle bracelet you're wearing, Mrs. Dietrichson." At Frank and Jane's first meeting, he says to her, "Hey, that's a honey of an ankle bracelet you have there."
When Frank first meets Jane, his narration is a parody of Phillip Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and a visual parody as well. Jane wears a red dress, walks down a staircase, and her hair is the "color of gold in old paintings".
The kitchen background (as Frank asks if Jane would still like something to eat), has a food item pulsating. "Weird Al" Yankovic, who has a cameo, used a similar gag for his "Livin in the Fridge" video, five years later.
Priscilla Presley (Jane Spencer) and George Kennedy (Ed Hocken) both starred in Dallas (1978), though not at the same time: Presley played Jenna Wade from 1983 to 1988 while Kennedy played Carter McKay from 1988 to 1991. Presley left the series in order to star in this film.
Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy were involved in disaster movies about airplanes (Kennedy as a pilot in The Concorde... Airport '79 (1979) and Nielsen as Dr. Rumack in Airplane! (1980), a parody of the Airport film franchise).
When Frank Drebin attends the baseball game, he goes to the toilet and meets a fat male and slapped him, was a reference to a Monty Python sketch where an obese male ate so much, that he exploded. The obese male is wearing the exact same clothing and hair-style like in the Monty Python sketch.
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 hear is the Rice University Marching Owl Band (the MOB). They are thanked in the credits.