May 20th, 2013
Mel Brooks
Film: Mel Brooks: Make a Noise

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.

Robert Trachtenberg is writer, director, producer, and editor. Susan Lacy is American Masters series creator and executive producer.

  • Phyllis Gruber

    I heard an interview with David van Cooley and Mel Brooks on the Terry Gross radio show today, May 20, 2013, and she said American Experience would be a Mel Brooks Special. I don’t have TV, and I’m hoping I can get to see this = if not tonight perhaps tomorrow.
    The interview this afternoon on the radio, was soooo funny! I couldn’t drive because I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes! Its my kind of humor.
    Thank you Public Radio!

  • Phyllis Gruber

    I laughed so much after hearing David van Cooley(sp?) interviewing Mel Brooks (on the Terry Gross “Fresh Air” May 20, 2013), that I couldn’t drive I had tears in my eyes! She mentioned he would be on PBS tonight in “American Experience”. Since I don’t have TV, I’m hoping I can catch this on my computer.

    This definitely is my kind of humor!

    I don’t do Facebook, so this really special for me.

  • John P – Minnesota.


  • Adela

    Absolutely sidesplitting!!!! Just seeing, or hearing his name makes me laugh. A real American Original, therefore a real American Master!

  • Ted

    The Mel Brooks episode was great. Thank you, it was so well done and fun to watch.

  • david s conlin

    Been looking for a good Mel Brooks documentary,American Masters comes through again,

  • ann carolin

    Will the American Masters featuring Mel Brooks be re broadcast in Atlanta any time soon?

  • Nathan McMurray

    Thank you for this! Truly fantastic. The whole series is fantastic, but this is one of your best yet,

  • S L McMaster

    Thank you for creating such an insightful film. Brooks is the one director/producer/polymath who “gets” the full spectrum of American humor with all its slapstick and pathos. His films and his life are focussed on relationships and those who were interviewed make it clear that he is a loving and brilliant man. As much as I may have laughed with this documentary there were also moments of tenderness that drew more than one tear. He is a national treasure and truly an American Master.

  • Chester Alwes

    Will this program be re-broadcasted.

  • Bart Friedman

    Mel Brooks is a genius, an American Master, an artist. When Mel Brooks speaks we listen. When Mel says “shit” it means more than just “shit”. Why can’t we hear that word on your program. Instead we hear a “beep”. Is that respectful of the artist, of your audience or yourselves as producers? Please, let the master say what he’s feeling and thinking and don’t annoy us with your censorship.

  • Sherrie Tolliver

    This man has made me laugh til I cried, and inspired me as an actor, writer, and stand-up comic,. Simply the best. LOVE YOU MEL BROOKS!

  • Bonnie

    Missed this episode on Mel Brooks because we were traveling…will this be aired again on Cablevision? If so when?

  • Amanda

    I sadly missed this special and would love to see it as well! When will it be aired again? Thanks!

  • Ken McNamara

    Thank you for another oustanding episode. This was one of my favorites. You have allowed us, the fan, to gain a new insight into the genius that is Mel Brooks.

  • Ileana Villanueva

    I was 12 years old the first time I saw Mr. Brooks on T.V back in Mexico,
    I laugh so hard! never forgot about him, love his originality. Thank you, excellent program.

  • Becky Beyer

    I, too, missed the program. Will it be aired again?

  • Bruce Paul Lohmann

    Our father, Paul Lohmann, intensely enjoyed working with Mel Brooks as his Director of Photography on Silent Movie and High Anxiety. After each day’s filming of Silent Movie, dad would come home and share the uproarious scenes they had filmed. I remember reading the script for Silent Movie and laughing and laughing. Mel’s scripts should be published–they are wonderful in their own right. Dad, of German-Irish heritage, born in New York to an second generation Irish mother and a German citizen father, was very fond of Mel. He loved to quote Mel telling him that he was “The only Nazi I ever loved.”

  • Gregory

    The video will not play in either Safari or Chrome on my Mac (OS X 8). Anyone else have this problem? I updated Flash.

  • Kaye M. Porter

    Gregor, my Macs are OSX – 10.8.3, updated to Mountain Lion. I have no trouble viewing, I just clicked on the site.
    Hope you are able to open and book mark.

  • Kaye M. Porter

    This may be a repeat, I don’t see my ‘Reply’.
    Gregory, I have OS X 10.8.3 and opened it with Safari. Mountain Lion installed in your MAC?


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