Saturday, March 22, 2008
Daily SAll-Star: Mel Brooks
I am a huge fan of Mel Brooks. Even in the archaic part of the twentieth century before risqué comedy was popular or even acceptable, Mel Brooks said "fuck it" and made fun of everything and everyone. He has never been afraid of controversial material and has never taken anything--even his own Jewish faith--seriously.
One of the wonderful aspects of Brooks' comedy is his ability to seamlessly combine intelligent subtleties with sophomoric poop joke humor. Few men or women can match his balance when it comes to pushing the envelope.
A tremendous example is his 1968 film-turned Broadway musical-turned film again The Producers, in which a failed musician and his accountant try to scam their financial backers by writing a musical about Adolf Hitler. There is, quite frankly, nothing funny about Adolf Hitler; Brooks sought out the most impossible subject to ridicule and did it marvelously.
Brooks is actually at his best when incorporating Judaism into his stuff. Here's a great tune from The Spanish Inquisition.
And finally, as promised, he delivers the piss jokes and uninvited motorboating.
Did I mention he's one of only nine people in history to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy?