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In memoirs, it’s good to be Comedy King Mel Brooks

Anything about me!My amazing life in show business by Mel Brooks (Ballantine’s)

Bagels and Nova Scotia put rocks on the writing team’s breakfast while punching the script for the Blazing Saddle. Earl Gray Tea and English Digestive Biscuits while developing Gene Wilder’s ideas for Young Frankenstein. Cottage cheese topped with fruit while hashing another writer’s pitch for a silent movie.

In addition to the mysterious memory of food, Mel Brooks has the skills of alchemists to turn the base metals of other ideas into comedy treasures. But the lead comes before the gold. With the notable exceptions of the producer, Brooks’ biggest hit was usually the team’s efforts that started as a nugget in someone else’s mind.

His new memoir All About Me! An unrivaled self-promoter, now 95, generously shares credits … most of the time. Look elsewhere to hear another side of the Mel Brooks story. Some of his collaborators complained about kneeling aside when he grabbed as much glory as he could. The same applies to his personal life. His first marriage has received little attention, despite years of proceedings with his three children, and anything else that might cast a shadow over his beloved weird man.

As advertised, All About Me! A celebration for poor Jewish children who grew up from a joke star on the streets of Brooklyn and became synonymous with heartfelt laughter and mischievous laughter. A surprisingly calm memory from a comedian known for mocking what is considered sacred in America.

The entertainment world is for Melvin Kaminsky, the youngest of four siblings, whose father died when Melvin was two years old and his mother worked hard to get enough pennies for a movie ticket. It was an escape. His stint at Catskill Resort, in contrast to the disastrous moon that dismantles the bomb as a result of the Battle of the Bulge, the assignment to the post-war Army vocational entertainment unit makes his heavenly dream more tied to Earth. It was useful for.

Brooks honed his comedy talent during his first big break and wrote for the Sid Caesar Your Show of Show and Caesar Hour series in the Golden Age of Television. After a lean year, Brooks smartly co-produced television and wrote and directed his first film, The Producers (1968), thanks to a 2,000-year-old routine with Carl Reiner. Broadway Jaguar Note.

Brooks is Cary Grant (Debonaire but dull), John Wayne (Blazing Suspense’s script is cheerful, but I thought it was too dirty for my favorite American cowboy to appear), Alfred Hitchcock ( (The Suspense Master left Brooks hanging) and so on, he finally sent a note in a fine wine case about whether he thought high anxiety was insulting or respectful). And there was actress Anne Bancroft. Her unlikely charm to Brooks’ off-quilter personality brought about its unusual Hollywood production, a lasting marriage.

To avoid confusion for ticket buyers, Brooks kept his name away from his production company’s non-comedy elephant man, Francis. It is welcome to demand foreign rights in the photos after him and be rewarded with more money than he earned domestically.

Anyone looking for introspection will be disappointed. Brooks celebrates his reputation with a dangerous comedy, but he hasn’t seized the opportunity with today’s hot topics. Look elsewhere for Brooks and see if the N-Ward free-use Blazing saddle can survive in our politically correct culture (no, he said). Rethinking homosexuality with misogyny, which was part of his generation of comedy Canon, is not on the menu.

Yes, there are too many All About Me! If Brooks doesn’t admire himself, he’s a self-blessing, he quotes others praising him, and yes, talking about his film plots and casts is superficial. It will come off as a thing. His memoirs work best when looking back on the laughter from men who aren’t trying to breathe us out.

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Douglass K. Daniel is the author of Anne Bancroft: A Life (University Press of Kentucky).

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In memoirs, it’s good to be Comedy King Mel Brooks

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