He’s the guy who wears the most hats in the Comedy Industry, from The 2,000 Year Old Man to director, producer, composer, lyricist, actor and screenwriter, a skill set achieved only by Charlie Chaplin before him, and America’s most consistently hilarious comic mind. And he married Mrs.Robinson, Anne Bancroft. It’s only right that we wish this walking National Treasure a Happy 97th Birthday on
NATIONAL MEL BROOKS’ DAY!
Mel Brooks can be as zany as The Marx Brothers, low as The Three Stooges, eccentric as Laurel & Hardy or cerebral as Noel Coward, whatever it takes to get the laugh.
A true original and a son of Brooklyn who spent WW2 defusing land mines, Melvin James Kaminsky changed his named to Brooks and hit the Borscht Belt after the war, where young performers earned their Ph.Ds in Comedy.
Originally a drummer and pianist, he filled in for a sick comedian one night and never looked back. He worked his way to top banana before stepping into the big time as writer and performer on his friend Sid Caesar’s groundbreaking television series, “Your Show of Shows.” His partnership with Carl Reiner produced the immortal “2,000 Year Old Man” routines and the TV Series “Get Smart.”
By 1968, Mel began making a string of incredibly funny movies, beginning with “The Producers,” an outrageous farce with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder as Broadway producers whose scheme is to cheat their investors out of a fortune by producing the worst play they could find, a musical tribute to the Third Reich called “Springtime For Hitler.” His next 10 movies weren’t bad either, each a comedy classic: The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of The World Part 1, Spaceballs, Life Stinks, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
•Suggested Activities: Playing The Contessa and the Chauffeur.