There is only one Mel Brooks, and having him as a guest on the current episode of my podcast Maltin on Movies is a source of great pride. My daughter Jessie and I had met him several times before—I even hosted a tribute to him at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—but when we left his office after this recording we were in a stupor. Gobsmacked, as the Brits would say. I think I was hyperventilating.
After all, he’s Mel Brooks. I was a kid when I first saw him with Carl Reiner doing The 2,000 Year Old Man routine on the Hollywood Palace. I committed their record album to memory (as did Jessie, when she was old enough to get the jokes). I stayed through a second showing of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove—no great chore, I admit—in order to get another look at The Critic, the uproarious animated short he made with Ernie Pintoff.
The idea of sitting and chatting in a friendly, informal fashion with this comedy legend, who looms so large in our lives, put Jessie and me into a state of Nirvana.
I think our enjoyment comes through in the conversation. We covered some familiar territory, talking about Gene Wilder, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein…but we also touched on other topics, small and large.
He also told us the funniest movie he’s ever seen. Curious? Listen to the episode HERE.