“Zinc Oxide and You”: A cheerful reminder how we all need a little zinc oxide to survive

By on June 5, 2015

Here’s a cheerful reminder of how none of us — including the typical 1950s housewife — could survive without products in the home made from zinc oxide. Literally.

This educational little film, number five in the science series, we’re told, is made ever more memorable by Colin Male’s upbeat narration, and the wonderful Nancy Steen of the L.A. comedy troupe, the Groundlings — she was originally a member of Dudley Riggs’ The Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota — who shows us all what our ordinary lives would be like without zinc oxide.


This skit for Kentucky Fried Movie was one of Ms. Steen’s first performances on film, and she later appeared as an actress in small roles on TV shows like “M*A*S*H,” “Taxi,” “Mork & Mindy,” and “Happy Days,” but most of her success has come as a writer/producer for television shows like “Night Court,” “Stand By Your Man,”Kirk,” “Roseanne,” “Caroline In The City,” “Jesse,” “Titus,” “I’m With Her,” and her last TV project, “What I Like About You.” Some of her other writing credits include “Police Squad!,” and “The Love Boat.”

If you’re looking to give more credit for this, or blame, you should spread it out between director John Landis (the success of Kentucky Fried Movie led directly to Animal House, The Blues Brothers and other directing jobs) and writers David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker (who, of course, wrote Airplane!, the Naked Gun movies, the “Police Squad!” TV series and a lot more).

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About Bryan

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide and a dozen other websites and zines, most of them long gone. He’s also worked for over twenty years at reissue record labels, and penned scads of liner notes -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He is now somewhat reclusive and bides his time quietly in his dusty Miracle Mile hermitage in Los Angeles, CA.