While bestowing Kennedy Center Honors upon a certain comic legend, President Obama quipped, “Unfortunately, many of the punchlines that have defined Mel Brooks’ success cannot be repeated here.”
Ah, but here on the Internet, we have a space that’s practically made for repeating sophomoric humor.
In honor of the man, who—as mentioned here —is adapting Blazing Saddles to the stage, we present the following batch of his greatest hits.
History of the World Part I
Only Brooks (and maybe Larry David) would have a scene in which a waiter at the Last Supper asks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA1sx-vyWVk) Jesus and the disciples if they’re together, or on separate checks. And don’t you sometimes wonder about those extra five original Commandments?
From “combing the desert” to Ludicrous Speed to Pizza The Hut, Brooks’ immortal Star Wars parody was somehow both loving and savage in its treatment of the source material. That juxtaposition is a hallmark of the man who once said “I’ve been accused of vulgarity. I say that’s bullshit.”
For years we bought into the apparent myth (http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth02.htm) that the reason the horses whinny at the sound of Frau Blücher’s name is because “blücher” sounds like the German word for “glue.” We still think this scene is one of the film’s best. (But then, it’s so hard to choose, what with the blind man scene, the “walk this way” line and the unlit candlesticks bit, just to name a few.) The fact that there’s no real reason for the horses’ reaction actually makes it even better, and more Mel Brooks-y.