Comedic legend Sid Caesar passed away February 12, 2014, at the age of 91. Caesar was a friend and mentor to Mel Brooks and the two worked together through much of Brooks’ early career. See Brooks talk about Caesar’s genius for comedy in this film excerpt from American Masters Mel Brooks: Make A Noise. Archival […]
What came first: the Mel Brooks movie or the cliché?
The classic Hollywood Sci-Fi spaceship always gets gratuitous screentime from every camera angle. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood spaceship appears in a continuous one minute and 40 second scene detailing its ridiculous length.
For Mel Brooks the spoofing is in the details.
The classic Hollywood Horror film is always black-and-white and includes scene transitions like iris outs, wipes and fades to black. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood Horror is no different. He even tracks down the original equipment from the mad doctor’s lab first used in the 1931 Frankenstein film.
Mel Brooks never met a stereotype he couldn’t upend.
The classic Hollywood cowboy is always white. Mel Brooks’s Hollywood cowboy is black. And his Indian chief speaks Yiddish.
Mel Brooks: Make a Noise journeys through Brooks’ early years in the creative beginnings of live television 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, capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession.
The logic here is, as long as it isn’t happening to Mel Brooks, it’s funny.
“I’m fifteen! I never did this before! I’m not an actor!” That’s a Mel Brooks ad-lib from his first stage appearance. The crowd loved it. The director did not.
In 1963, Mel Brooks and director/animator Ernest Pintoff came up with the animated short film The Critic, a satire of arty, esoteric cinema. Brooks supplied running commentary as the baffled moviegoer trying to make sense of the obscure visuals. The short film won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
Even while fighting in WWII, Mel Brooks went for the laugh.
Mel Brooks is here to find the insane and the bizarre in the commonplace.