Mel Brooks was honored last night with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hollywood stars Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Morgan Freeman showed up to toast the comedy legend for his amazing body of work. Brooks has created classic movies and Broadway hits like The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and History Of The World – Part 1, and has won Tonys, Emmys, Grammys and an Oscar during his long career.
Martin Short, who opened the show with a little song and dance, said: “What’s great about Mel is that he never lets his love of Scientology affect his work … The word genius is used a lot in Hollywood, so I might as well call Mel one.”
The good natured roast went on with appearances from Cloris Leachman, Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien and Larry David.
Jimmy Kimmel said: “We are going to miss you so much, Mel. You were one of the greats. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Gene Wilder, who starred in several Mel Brooks movies and was nominated for an Oscar alongside Brooks for writing Young Frankenstein, said: “I don’t think there’s any man anywhere who’s like you. I love you, Mel.”
Here’s a video from the red carpet last night.
Here are a couple of more quotes from the Mel Brooks
roast Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony.
Billy Crystal said: “It’s very rare that you get a chance to say in public ‘thank you’ to one of your heroes. To me he’s an original, a true comic icon who made me want to be a comedian. So tonight, Carl Reiner…”
Martin Scorsese: “Mel has always made his own comedy his own way, and reminded us yet again what is all too easy to forget: You can be a great filmmaker, just for laughs.”
The show will air on TNT on June 15 at 9 pm EST.