The most original in-flight safety videos

Nobody pays attention to in-flight safety demos, unless they want to look like a total noob who's never even been on a plane before, but some airlines go to great lengths to make seat belt buckles and oxygen masks worth watching. Here are eight safety videos worth looking up from your magazine for...

Air New Zealand -- Starring Betty White, and the elderly
Betty White makes it OK for us to laugh with old people, as they dive-bomb their retirement village swimming pool in lifejackets and assume the brace position on their mobility scooters.

Air New Zealand -- Starring Richard Simmons, Sweatin' to the Oldies
Another one from the Kiwis, reigning champions of hilarious safety briefings. Though he's no Betty White, Richard's sequins will likely pull your eye from the paper, ensuring you'll take notice of this disco-themed clip of the supreme lycra-lover.

Air New Zealand, again -- Starring elfin cabin crew, and Gandalf as captain
They have both a sense of humor AND enormous production budgets down there in the South Pacific. This time, they're playing on being the setting of the Hobbit/LOTR movies.

Air New Zealand, for the last time -- Starring nude employees in nothing but body paint
With all their production cash tied up in celebrity endorsements and movie sponsorship, this vid must've had nothing left for costumes; the entire crew, from baggage dudes to flight attendants and captains, stripped down to the "bare essentials of safety".

Virgin America -- Starring scribbles
Virgin America were the pioneers of wacky safety vids in this country (and it took a British billionaire for us to start having a little fun). In 2007 they kickstarted the trend with this kooky animation, which looks a bit like something out of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (one of their big destinations).

Thomson Airways -- Starring chid labor
Adorable British kids telling you where your nearest exit is? We die! Experience any in-flight issues with this crew actually in charge? We die!

Delta Airlines -- Starring gimmicky props
The largest airline in North America, Delta tries to break the mold with this vid. Though they toe the same old lines more or less, there's an old lady stowing her ghetto blaster under her seat, identical triplets manning the emergency exit, and Abraham Lincoln making a cameo at 03:10.

Southwest Airlines -- Starring a rapping flight attendant
Though this isn't an official safety video, a flight attendant on his last haul of the day got a bit of audience participation out of his passengers and rapped the usual info (start at 1:00).

Humorous Mentions
For fear of overloading you with videos from Air New Zealand, we're relegating these to links. But, we swear, this company does advertising like no one else in the air. Meet Rico: he's a dirty-mouthed puppet representing the Kiwi brand, and in this clip he raps with Snoop Dogg. If you liked that, check him out hitting on Lindsay Lohan. Team Rico!