One of the greatest comedians of all time, Mel Brooks, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher last night to promote his new HBO special and boy did he have a lot to say. Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen premieres tonight at 9PM Eastern Time.
Bill Maher introduced Brooks as “the funniest man in the history of show business and that maybe an understatement.” He of course got a standing ovation.
“I was just a writer. I wrote The Show of Shows. I was never on it, ” Brooks said about how he never intended to become so famous.
Brooks impressed Maher with his command of the issues, specifically with how he knew why “Dodd Frank” was such a bad bill for regulating America’s financial industry.
“Lyndon Johnson was a tough bastard! He grabbed them [by the shirt] and said, ‘you want to get elected again, you better [do what I want]. A bigot that saved America.” Maher agreed that Johnson got things done.
Brooks is one of only 12 EGOTs, a person who has one an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. When pointing this out Maher told Brooks that he has “more statues than a Persian’s lawn.”
Brooks pointed out that he was also honored by both AFI and the Kennedy Center.
Maher told Brooks how impressed he was about the director’s still going at it since there is a lot of ageism in America. Brooks is 88. “It’s not good for a guy who is 88, it’s just good, ” he said.
Brooks also talked about his service in WWII. “I was there ducking.” He volunteered to fight the Germans, but would not do so today to fight ISIS.
On the Internet based “Overtime” segment of the show Maher asked Brooks if in today’s PC environment he could make the same movies that he did back in the 70s Brooks answered, ” Not At All!”
“First of all, ” he continued, “we had a screening of Blazing Saddles and the man who was in charge of Warner Brothers at that time who shall be nameless – Ted Ashley – gave me some notes about the movie.” Basically all of what made the movie funny, including farting jokes, Brooks was told, needed to be taken out. Fortunately for the world it was left in.
Maher lamented the fact that bathroom humor is so prevalent in movies today saying its done way too much. “The first time it was funny, ” Maher said. “But now we’ve seen it a million times.
To That Brooks put his hands up and sarcastically said, “I’m sorry I started it.”