CLICK HERE to see article from NPR). Those routines with Carl Reiner are so memorable that my brother Les and I still quote from them today. Brooks is one of only eight EGOT (those few people who have received an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony) honorees.
This month, a special 40th anniversary, commemorative, Blu-ray edition of his movie Blazing Saddles is available.
I was very disappointed that when Mel was recently interviewed (CLICK HERE to see article) about the 40th anniversary, he complained because Blazing Saddles was not ranked as Number One on the American Film Institute's (AFI) list of the 100 Greatest Comedies. He was quoted: "It's the funniest movie, I think, by far, no matter what the AFI list says. Five should be the next number because numbers 1 through 4 should be given to Blazing Saddles." That is sheer arrogance.
As much as I love Mel, admire his work, and his chutzpah, I disliked his sour-grapes behavior and lack of humility. I have seen all of the 100 movies on the list and I agree with the voters of the AFI that Some Like It Hot should be ranked Number 1 and I much prefer Dr. Strangelove, M*A*S*H, and The Graduate over any of Mel's movies. Mel's movies contain a much broader humor than I prefer, but I still quote from nearly all of them.
Three of Mel's movies were in the top 15:
Some Like It Hot
It Happened One Night
A Night At The Opera
Bringing Up Baby
The Philadelphia Story
Go to the AFI website to see the complete list.