Michael Rapaport Saved a Flight Full of Passengers

Michael Rapaport has become an extremely well-known comedian and celebrity over the years.

Born in 1970, Rapaport became interested in comedy at a young age. Shortly after his high school graduation Rapaport moved to Los Angeles and began exploring standup comedy.

It became clear that he knew a thing or two about keeping an audience entertained, and, eventually, Rapaport expanded his career to the acting world.

Rapaport is well-known for his New York-roots, sometimes controversial reputation, and, of course, that one time he saved a flight full of Passengers. 

Michael Rapaport’s career

Actor Michael Rapaport
Actor Michael Rapaport | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

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The 1990s marked a momentous time of Rapaport’s career. In ’92 the comedian made his debut movie appearance as Zack in Zebrahead. The following year Rapaport was cast in a total of four movies and appeared on television shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and NYPD Blue.

Many of his fans probably remember Rapaport from his 1999 performance on Friends. The comedian appeared in several episodes as Gary, a police officer who was dating Phoebe. 

Throughout the 2000s Rapaport continued to appear on the big screen and in television series. Around this time Rapaport received recurring roles on Boston Public and The War at Home.

Many people still fondly remember the actor as Don Self from his role on Prison Break. More recently, audiences have been able to enjoy him as Doug Gardner on Netflix’s Atypical.

On top of that, over the past few decades, Rapaport has continued to tour and share his standup skills.

Michael Rapaport’s controversial reputation

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Sometimes his jokes have been known to get him in some trouble. That was the case in 2018 when Rapaport received criticism and pushback as the result of a distasteful “joke” about Ariana Grande.

Rapaport had Tweeted, “Ariana Grande is 27 acts 12, you take off those boots she hides her legs in, the cat eye make up and the genie pony tale and I think there’s hotter women working the counter at Starbucks no disrespect to Starbucks.” This hasn’t been the only time Rapaport has been in a questionable situation.

The New York Times recapped the tense and malicious relationship between Rapaport and Barstool Sports. After briefly collaborating together, Rapaport was abruptly fired. Rapaport publicly insulted Barstool Sports and the company struck back by resurfacing Rapaport’s former harassment charges against an ex-girlfriend from 1997.

However, despite his sometimes dodgy past, there was one instance where Rapaport was celebrated as a hero. 

Michael Rapaport once saved a flight full of passengers 

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USA Today shared the shocking details behind the event that left people calling Rapaport a hero. A little while back Rapaport was on an American Airline flight that was heading to Los Angeles from Houston when things started to get weird.

Rapaport explained that he had fallen asleep and was woken up to a startling situation: a man desperately trying to get the airplane’s emergency exit door open. 


After briefly trying to inquire what the individual was doing, Rapaport restrained the man and helped America Airlines detain the individual until they could safely land. When reflecting on the event, the comedian stated, “Everyone thanked me and everyone did say I was brave and heroic. I consider myself a common man who does uncommon things.”

As it only seemed fitting, Rapport couldn’t resist joking around and alluded to the possibility of a statue in his honor.