April 4th, 2013
Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise

Premieres Monday, May 20, 2013 at 9/8c on PBS

After 60 years in show business, Mel Brooks has earned more major awards than any other living entertainer; he is one of 14 EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winners. Yet, the comedy giant has energetically avoided a documentary profile being made, even issuing an informal gag order on his friends … until now. Brooks agreed to throw himself into a new documentary about his storied career, giving American Masters exclusive interviews and complete access to his film and photo archives.

Premiering nationwide Monday, May 20, 2013 on PBS (check local listings), Mel Brooks: Make a Noise features new interviews with Brooks, his friends and colleagues, including Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Tracey Ullman, and his close friend, with whom he created The 2000 Year Old Man more than 50 years ago, Carl Reiner.

Showcasing the Brooklyn native’s brilliant, skewed originality, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise journeys through Brooks’ early years in the creative beginnings of live television — with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows — to the film genres he so successfully satirized in Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs — to the groundbreaking Broadway musical version of his first film, The Producers. The documentary also delves into his professional and personal ups and downs — his childhood, his first wife and subsequent 41-year marriage to Anne Bancroft — capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession.

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise is a production of American Masters for THIRTEEN. Robert Trachtenberg is writer, director, producer, and editor. Susan Lacy is American Masters series creator and executive producer.

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American Masters is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers. Additional support for this program is provided by Vital Projects Fund.

  • Michael Hiller

    You know the PBS stations on the Canadian border regularly solicit and get a large amount of their funding from Canadian cities (sometimes more than from the American side). I think it’s pretty unfair that we can’t view previews of programming because we’re across that same border.

  • bob green

    “…some varm milk, per-haps…”

    “…it’s twue; it’s twue…”

    “…that’s, Hed-ley…”

  • J.T.

    I love his movies!

  • Jerry

    Great line in all movies:

    I was Max Bialystock, King of Broadway! Look at me now! I’m wearing a cardboard belt!

  • ziggy


  • D. McCormick

    I am a Canadian who has donated to PBS for over 30 years. It is hard to accept that no headway has been made in whatever legal wrangling that is keeping Canadian PBS members from enjoying all the perks our American counterparts do – ESPECIALLY VIDEOS! I never thought I’d be considering ending my financial involvement with PBS after so many years. It is very frustrating.

  • Joanne Bramsen

    It’s fun to watch a GENIOUS OF COMEDY…We all need more laughter in our lives.

  • Pierre Picard

    When I lived in Montreal, I was a regular pbs donor and I’m very disappointed to see that I can’t have any access to the PBS programs. Is it because I now live in France? The Frenche don’t listen to English, you know!
    luv your programming and keep up the good work.

  • Martin weiss

    Mel Brooks…the problems he has caused me. I’ll be….I’m not yet…86 in July, and 80 years I’ve been a fan…maybe only 75. And now, I have all the old recordings on the iPhone, the iPod and the iPad, ( I’ very technologically advanced for my age) so when I fly (in a plane) I put on the earphones, and than I laugh, and I laugh, till I start to cry. Then the stewardess….excuse me, the flight attendant, and other strangers run to me, why am I crying, what’s the matter. Who needs this? He could have a little consideration for an old man and not be so funny to make a person cry.

  • Charlie Cee

    “…Werewolf…there, wolf!”…
    “…Let’s face it… I’m tired!”…
    “…Taffeta, darling…”
    “…It’s good to be King!…”
    “…the jig is up…”
    “…He’s a eunuch!…He Is a eunuch!…He’s dead!…”
    “…Did you kill last week?…”

  • Carin

    Bob, He Vaz mie Boyfreund!

    Seriously, so happy to see that the people we have enjoyed for so long are getting the recognition they deserve, while they are still here to enjoy it! Love you Mel!

  • David G Smith

    Amen to the cross-border comment. I’ve lived across Canada, now in Vancouver.

    The following stations that I know of (and possibly others) ask for and receive a lot of money from Canada: KCTS, Seattle; KSPS, Spokane; Prairie Public TV, N. Dakota; WNED, Buffalo; WTVS, Detroit [which maps the whole country because of the CANCOM satellite]. WGBH, Boston is also in several cities, but I don’t know if they accept money from Canada…having heard perhaps falsely that they decline support from here.

    Yes, you should open this up to us…if you value you us as much as you value our monetary support.

  • Hypatia

    I brought up my son on the 2000-year-old man and its sequel. He used to be able to recite the dialog in toto.

  • wrongme now

    to michael .. it is wrong … so “wrong me now .. wrong me now”:?)

  • kim

    There wolf. There castle.

  • Anne

    Work, work, work

  • raymond

    love mel’s movies. anxiously anticipating may 20’s broadcast. Hope I get it here in Ottawa….my PBS cable affiliate
    is WPBS Watertown.
    “nice hopping”
    “Give ‘em another dollar”
    “elevate me”
    “there, I”ve touched my food”

    PS Yes, Canadians monetarily contribute to PBS in substantial amounts (along our mutual border). And its worth it. I don”t watch any other American TV networks.Only PBS. The commercial mainstream stuff is just to painfully boring to watch. The same violent, police-crime stories over and over again, plus their mindless sitcoms (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX : Get a life !)
    You have lost all creativity. Its just re-baked, re-hashed formula TV.

    Long live PBS !! Luv you guys ! Raymond Anka, Ottawa

  • Robert

    it’s good to be the king

  • Y. Bertrand

    There is no bounderies for knowledge and culture, only in politics. Furthermore several stations can be viewed and are paid for on television

  • astasmom

    Can’t get enough Mel Brooks!

  • M K

    I second the support for the idea that Canadian border cities should also have online access to all content!

  • Connie

    I LOVE MEL BROOKS — an American Comedic genius. I’m re-scheduling my trainnig that night just so I can watch this. :)

  • Lorraine

    It’s good to be the King
    The peasants are revolting…. yeah, they stink on ice..PULL!
    And I basically have Young Frankenstein Memorized. I am looking forward to the feature!!!!!

  • Ajsfather

    IT’S GOOD to be THE KING!!!!!

  • Barbara

    Mel has to be the funniest man alive. I’m certain that his late wife, Anne, married him because he kept her laughing.

  • Rita Holloway

    I am Canadian and have been a contributor to WNED and I think it is grossly unfair not to allow Canadians to preview programs. Also, when asked to submit a Postal Code, there is never sufficient room to enter the numbers/letters in the box.

  • deepa

    Mel brooks for president.

  • Bil

    “NO!” – Marcel Marceau

  • Crazedreverend

    “It could be worse. It could be raining.”

  • FryingPan9

    Never mind that bulls#$^! Here comes Mongo!

  • Linda Roghaar

    work work work
    busy busy busy

  • David

    Abi Normal

  • Sheila Matsubara

    Yes, please make content available to your supporters and viewers in Canada.

  • Tony

    I have always loved Mel Brooks’ movies, I can not wait to see this show!

  • Tom


  • Caryl

    To All Canadian Fans … Copyrights make it “unfair” to view American content via internet services. We (Americans) have to contend with the same copyright right laws when trying to view Canadian or British (etc) broadcasting. Please do not feel that PBS is responsible for your inability to watch shows. We greatly appreciate your support … and not necessarily in the monetary sense :)

  • Jack

    “Walk this way!”

  • Jon

    i’ll take the blonde, you take the one with the turban..

  • Suzy

    We had an “All Mel Brooks” halloween/birthday party for my mom. Everyone dressed as their favorite character. Mel’s humor has a special way that turns a bad day into a Super-dooper day! Thanks Mel…

  • Oni Lasana

    Can’t wait..he was a comic genius, clearly ahead of his time on civil rights and on the foolishness of men! Humor reveals truth and he was TRUTH.

  • Sharon O’Hara

    Put the candle beck!

    r-r-roll r-r-roll r-r-roll in deh hay!

    Shvartzes! Lozem gain!!

    It’s twue! it’s twue!

    (and those are just the ones that have popped in my head recently!!)

  • Rich

    The 2013 Year Old Man made in 1973 or 74 is the funniest recording ever made. I have had the great fortune of meeting Mel Brooks in and around NY several times over the years. The only thing greater than his gift to make us laugh is is graciousness when he meets a real fan. God bless him. The man is an American Institution.

  • Tami

    My husband and I LOVE Mel Brooks! His films are classics! We have entire conversations, back and forth, just quoting lines from his films. He is an amazing talent and a wonderful human being. More people need to learn from him about not taking ourselves or life too seriously and I think the world would be a better place for it! Love you, Mel!!!

  • Sharon O’Hara

    ok one more…..YES! He vas my boyfriend!!!

  • talbot

    Nice Knockers!

    Abby Normal

  • Steve

    Hey, Canadians — I’ll trade you not being able to see the promos if you’ll give us single payer health insurance.


  • angelo

    Anyone know when he did the interview for this?

  • Shellie

    When will PBS the American Masters Mel Brooks again?

  • Wilhelmina Stefanell Steuer

    I’ve always loved Mel Brooks too! His “High Anxiety” movie is to die for! I’m so glad he finally “let his hair down” to let us know a little bit more about himself!

  • Chris Dawson

    Mongo only pawn in game of life.

  • renee

    I have enjoyed many of Mel Brooks movies, but I was heart broke at the way Richard Pryor was talked about in this bio of Mel Brooks. Richard Pryor was a comic genius and deserved better PR than what was said. I hope PBS does a documentary about Richard Pryor’s life and his part in disarming social injustice using comic spirit. Mel most likely knows he was in the presence of one of the greats of all time when he was wanted for Blazing Saddles.

  • renee

    I have enjoyed many of Mel Brooks movies. I was however saddened at how Richard Pryor was talked about in this bio of Mel Brooks. Richard Pryor was a comic genius and deserving of more than what was said, or how i took it. I hope PBS does a documentary about Richard Pryor’s life and his part in disarming social injustice using good ol’ comic spirit. Mel Brooks–I am thinking– knows he was in the presence of one of the greats of all time when Richard Pryor was wanted for Blazing Saddles, that at least came through.

  • Shirley

    when will this be rebroadcasted?


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