Mel Brooks is a comic genius. He’s a writer, actor, producer and director. He makes fun of everyone; no matter if you are male or female, young or old, black or white. No one is safe from Mel Brooks.
1. The Producers (1967)
The Producers is Mel Brooks’ first film. It stars Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. The film is about a Broadway producer (Mostel) and an accountant (Wilder) who come up with idea that they could make more money with a flop on Broadway than with a hit. They find their flop – a play that is a love song to Hitler and the Nazi party.
The screenplay is one of the funniest that Brooks has ever written. Not only does he make fun of the Nazi party and Broadway, but little old ladies are the butt of the joke as well. And let’s not forget unintelligent apartment landlords who, quite honestly all wear the same night gown, shower cap and curlers in their hair.
The song and dance number of the sure fire flop “Springtime for Hitler” is just one example of Brooks’ humor at one of the most infamous hate groups:
“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty. Come and join the Nazi party.”
2. Young Frankenstein (1974)
Young Frankenstein is a wonderful screenplay written together by Wilder and Brooks. It stars Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn and Teri Garr. The film is about the relative of the infamous Dr. Frankenstein and how he reanimates a monster.
During the movie, the character of Frau Blucher is an ugly old woman, the running joke is that she is so ugly and horrible, that even the animals know and can’t stand to hear her name:
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Goodnight, Frau Blucher.
This film makes fun of old horror films as well as uptight women, horrible, ugly women, neurotic men, and don’t forget – sex with monsters.
3. Blazing Saddles (1974)
Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor and several others penned the screenplay. It stars Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder and Harvey Korman. The film is about an African American sheriff who is sent (under false pretenses) to help get rid of corruption in a town, only to find out that the corruption leads him to the very man who appointed him as sheriff.
This film combats racism in the only way a Mel Brooks film can, with comedy. Not one group of people; young or old, straight or gay, hate groups, government officicals were left out the comedic antics of this film.
4. History of the World Part 1 (1981)
Mel Brooks penned the screenplay for this film. The film stars Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn and many more. The film recites historical events from the Bible all the way to the French Revolution.
Brooks makes fun of history and the social issues that would have appeared at that particular time. As well as taking a stab at historical stories such as Oedipus.
One scene Brooks and Hines’ characters are trying to escape, a beggar is outside and greets Hines’ character:
Oedipus: [walking around collecting donations] Give to Oedipus! Give to Oedipus! Hey, Josephus!
Josephus (Hines): Hey, Motherf***er!
5. Spaceballs (1987)
Mel Brooks penned the screenplay with Thomas Meehan and Ronny Graham. Spaceballs starred Mel Brooks, Rick Moranis, John Candy, Bill Pullman and Joan Rivers. The film is a parody of the Star Wars franchise as well as all Sci Fi movies.
Mel Brooks made fun of a widely popular franchise by not only just parodying the characters and storylines, but the behind the scenes drama of the infamous merchandising rights of the Star Wars franchise.
One of the ending scenes is one of the truest statements – especially with today’s Star Wars obsession:
Lone Starr: I wonder, will we ever see each other again?
Yogurt: Who knows? God willing, we’ll all meet again in Spaceballs 2: The Search For More Money.