Clip | Mel Brooks: Make a Noise - Do You Want To Know How ‘The Critic’ Came About?

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.

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise premieres nationally Monday, May 20 on PBS (check local listings)

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- [Critic] I don't know much about psychoanalysis, but I'd say this is a dirty picture.

- You wanna know how 'The Critic' came about?

Are you interested to know how The Critic ... Do you care how 'The Critic' came about?

Does anybody here care how 'The Critic' came about?

- [Man] I care!

- Nobody gives a shit.

There was a brilliant guy, a cartoonist, and sweet as sugar, his name was Ernest Pintoff, and he said there was a guy called Norman McLaren who used to do films, beautiful films that were truly avant-garde I'm talking about late 40's, early 50's.

So, when Pintoff said to me 'Look, I've got a good idea, you watch one of these films and just mumble to yourself.'

I said, that's good, I'll be this old Jew trying to make sense out of what I'm seeing.

There's no better philosophical sound than a Jewish accent.

If somebody's gonna wax philosophically he better have a Jewish accent, or he's gonna sound like a dope.

A Jew never sounds like a dope.

(upbeat music) - [Critic] This is cute, this is cute.

This is nice.

What the hell is it?

(upbeat music) Oh, I know what it is.

It's garbage, that's what it is.

$2 I paid for a French movie, for a foreign movie and now I gotta see this junk.

- [Mel] Anyway, we made this little short.

- [Critic] What is that?

- And submitted it, and it won an Academy Award.