The Producers: One Of The Best Comedies Ever

Mel Brooks’ feature directorial debut starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, The Producers, is one of the best comedies of all-time. When producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) learns from accountant Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) that he can turn flops into money-makers, it changes everything.  Hysterics ensue for a solid hour and a half.  There’s nothing more to say about the plot.  Mostly, this is because the film is over 50 years old.  You know what…

"The Producers: One Of The Best Comedies Ever"

Funny Man: Mel Brooks by Patrick McGilligan

In Funny Man: Mel Brooks, author Patrick McGilligan takes an in-depth look at the life of the legendary comedian Mel Brooks. The legendary comedian has gifted us both films, television series, records, and Broadway musicals.  He is one of a number of entertainers to win the coveted EGOT.  But the Mel Brooks that we see in public is a wholly different person from the Mel Brooks on set or in his private life. If there’s…

"Funny Man: Mel Brooks by Patrick McGilligan"

Spaceballs: Mel Brooks’ Star Wars Spoof Marks 32 Years

Spaceballs, Mel Brooks’ celebrated classic spoof of Star Wars and similar sci-fi films, marks its 32nd anniversary this year. Planet Spaceball–led by the inept President Skroob (Mel Brooks)–is out of clean air so they’re heading to planet Druida to suck all the fresh air.  As soon as the opening crawl finishes, the camera tracks Spaceball One from the start of the ship all the way to the rear.  The ship is so huge to the…

"Spaceballs: Mel Brooks’ Star Wars Spoof Marks 32 Years"

Chicago Comedy 2019: Olympians

Olympians takes a satirical look at Greek gods as if they decided to live as immigrants in America under the current administration. The premise here is that Zeus (Mel Brooks), Aphrodite (Meghan Sunder), and Ares (Samuel Hunt) have immigrated to America.  They are basically locked up in a beautiful house because they’re illegal immigrants.  Suddenly, Aphrodite  finds herself arrested and thrown in jail.  The cops essentially treat her like a Mexican immigrant especially with the accents…

"Chicago Comedy 2019: Olympians"

History of the World: Part I isn’t Mel Brooks’ Best

History of the World, Part I–which has no sequel–spoofs multiple genres in this anthology showing that there are no limits to the mind of writer-director Mel Brooks. In depicting a few periods of time in world history, Brooks also spoofs other films or stories in doing so.  Aspects of “The Stone Age” parody that of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Brooks isn’t shy of placing many gags in this era.  Whether its the invention of music…

"History of the World: Part I isn’t Mel Brooks’ Best"

The Great Buster celebrates Buster Keaton

The Great Buster: A Celebration is a well-deserved cinematic tribute to Buster Keaton–one of the greatest silent comedy stars to have ever lived. Discussing the great silent comedy stars must include Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd.  Interestingly, Keaton starred in College as a response to Lloyd’s The Freshman.  Where Lloyd starred as a freshman who played football, Keaton would play every other sport.  As for Chaplin, he directed Keaton in 1952’s Limelight.  This…

"The Great Buster celebrates Buster Keaton"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Great Buster

The Great Buster: A Celebration is a well-deserved cinematic tribute to Buster Keaton–one of the greatest silent comedy stars to have ever lived. Discussing the great silent comedy stars must include Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Harold Lloyd.  Interestingly, Keaton starred in College as a response to Lloyd’s The Freshman.  Where Lloyd starred as a freshman who played football, Keaton would play every other sport.  As for Chaplin, he directed Keaton in 1952’s Limelight.  This…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: The Great Buster"

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Sets The Record Straight

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story celebrates the life of the actress-turned-inventor and helps to set the record straight. The actress, who was recently depicted in the “Helent Hunt” episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, was more than just a Hollywood talent.  One could make the argument that Lamarr had also lived a double life while working on inventions when she wasn’t in front of the camera. At the peak of her career, Lamar was iconic…

"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Sets The Record Straight"

Leap! Will Dance Into Your Hearts

Leap! is a cute film about a ballet dancer who is full of heart. Eric Summer and Eric Warin co-direct the animated film.  The screenplay is written by Carol Noble & Laurent Zeitoun & Eric Summer.  The film stars Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Maddie Ziegler, with Mel Brooks, featuring Carly Rae Jespen and Kate McKinnon.  McKinnon proves to be a triple threat in multiple roles of Régine, Mother Superior, and Félicie’s Mother. All Félicie (Fanning)…

"Leap! Will Dance Into Your Hearts"

It’s Good To Be The King: Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!

Mel Brooks is one of the first people I think of when it comes to comedy.  Today, he celebrates his 91st birthday. Together with Carl Reiner, they created The 2000 Year Old Man.  While doing the routine for their friends, comedian George Burns told them to record an album or he would have stolen it from them.  Steve Allen was also one of those who approached them and if not for him, the album likely…

"It’s Good To Be The King: Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!"