Mel Brooks names his 5 favorite scenes from his own films. Okay, 8 favorite scenes

I recently watched the American Masters documentary on Mel Brooks entitled MAKE A NOISE and immediately wanted to go back and re-watch all of his films. The guy is so genuinely funny that it is a shame he hasn't directed a film since 1995's DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT. But, after winning more awards than any living entertainer (Grammy, Tony, Oscar, Emmy, and more), Brooks is set to receive the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.

In anticipation of the AFI award, The LA Times asked Brooks to list his five favorite scenes from his own films. Brooks refused and instead listed as many as he damn well pleased, settling on a nice round 8 scenes. Always the funny man, check out the top three:

'The Producers' (1968)

"A vision realized beyond belief: Leo Bloom, played by Gene Wilder, has a hysterical fit when Bialystock, played by Zero Mostel, takes his blue blanket away and goes bananas. What I like is that I was very Pirandello-ish because I had the character say, 'I'm hysterical. I'm hysterical.' He tells you what's happening instead of just acting it. I never could have imagined it going over the top like it did. I thought it would be funny. I didn't think it would literally be hysterical. It was amazing."

'Blazing Saddles' (1974)

"There were many scenes, but the most soaring, thrilling moment for me was Madeline Kahn as Lili von Shtupp singing 'I'm Tired' — a song I wrote the music and lyrics for — with her ad libs and her near harmonies. She was amazing in that. I think she was the best actress/comedienne/singer who ever lived. She was a born coloratura. She could have sang in the Met. She was the best. I was stunned by her incredible music talent and her comedy."

'Young Frankenstein' (1974)

"I can't help it, but I have got two. One is, of course, Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder doing 'Puttin' on the Ritz.' It was a magic moment. The other one was Cloris Leachman doing, 'He was my boyfriend.' Gene Wilder questions her, she moves back a step, she dances and moves up another step and finally answers with this incredible shriek: 'HE WAS MY BOYFRIEND.' It was an incredible scene."

Even when he is just talking, Mel Brooks is brilliant.  I hope he somehow still has it in him somewhere to write another film.  The guy is 86 years old and still better at comedy than almost anyone else alive.

For the rest of Mel Brooks' picks, head over to The LA Times article.

Extra Tidbit: Did you know Mel Brooks produced David Cronenberg's THE FLY and David Lynch's THE ELEPHANT MAN?
Source: LA Times



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