Monthly Feature

The Films of Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks

All films will be shown at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” – Mel Brooks

Few filmmakers have unleashed as many laughs per minute as Mel Brooks, who as writer, director, producer, and actor is responsible for many of the screen’s all-time great comedies. His work is marked by an unusual combination of vulgarity and sweetness, as well as a willingness to do virtually anything for a laugh – a winning formula that has made him one of the few entertainers in history to earn all four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony (not to mention a Kennedy Center Honor, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award and a National Medal of Arts … not bad for a funny man). Beginning his career in television, (writing for Your Show of Shows and, together with Buck Henry, creating the long-running series, Get Smart), Brooks later teamed up with with fellow comedy pioneer Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy-winning 2,000 Year Old Man comedy albums and books. He won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short, The Critic, and his second in 1969 for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers (which years later he transformed into a hit Broadway musical). Brooks followed this cinematic success with an avalanche of hilarious comedy classics, including Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, two of the most beloved comedies of all-time. Propelled by his patented combination of goofy slapstick, verbal wit and raunchy satire, and featuring a stock company of howlingly funny character actors including Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman, a Mel Brooks film is guaranteed to delight, amuse and offend … not necessarily in that order. This May, The Loft Cinema celebrates the wild and wacky world of Mel Brooks with four of his funniest films, all which prove that when it comes to comedy, “It’s good to be the king.”