Mel Brooks is no stranger to controversy. His films The Producers and Blazing Saddles ruffled more than a few feathers while going on to be huge critical and commercial successes.
During a recent sit-down with Jimmy Kimmel, he proved that growing old doesn’t mean you have to grow unfunny.
Fielding questions from Kimmel, who was wearing a “loud” to say the least Christmas suit, Brooks took on the controversy over Seth Rogen’s film The Interview.
Kimmel referenced “Springtime for Hitler” from The Producers and asked for Mel Brooks’ two cents over what Rogen and buddy/co-star James Franco are going through with their film.
“I waited ’til Hitler was dead,” Brooks said to laughs from the much-younger crowd. After some hesitation, he continued.
“I don’t know how crazy they [North Korea] are, so I’m gonna ask you to stop talking about it right now.”
This cracked up Kimmel, who responded without missing a beat.
“Don’t worry, they’ll never spot us with me in this red suit.”
This actually made the legendary comedian laugh, but he wasn’t about to let Kimmel have the last word.
“I didn’t expect you to be funny.”
From there, Kimmel turned attention to Young Frankenstein’s 40th anniversary coming this week and admitted that it was one of his favorite movies of all time. From there, Mel Brooks shared a humorous story regarding his decision to film in black-and-white, which stemmed from “a pact” he’d made with Gene Wilder.
“We had a deal with Columbia. We’re gonna make the film for two million dollars. This was in 1973. We shook hands. And on the way out of the meeting, I poked my head back in the room and said, ‘Oh by the way, it’s gonna be in black-and-white,’ and I left. Down the hall, you heard thundering Jews. Twenty eight Jews chasing me. ‘No! Peru just got color!’”
Ultimately, Columbia Pictures wasn’t into the idea of a black-and-white film, but luckily, Brooks had a friend in Alan Ladd, Jr., son of the late actor Alan Ladd (Shane), who had just taken over the studio and determined that the film would have to be shot the way Mel Brooks wanted it shot, and the rest is history.
What was your favorite film of Mel Brooks, readers? And would you like to see the comedy maestro take another crack at the big time or is Jimmy Kimmel Live enough? Share your thoughts in our comments section.