Our CBS Sunday morning podcast is sponsored by Edward Jones. College tours with your oldest daughter. Updating the kitchen to the appropriate decade.
Retiring on the coast. Life is full of moments that matter, and Edward Jones helps you make the most of them. That's why every Edward Jones financial advisor works with you to build personalized strategies for now and down the road. So when your next moment arrives, big or small, you're ready for it. Life is for living.
Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at edwardjones.com. Hi, I'm Jane Pauley, and this is our Sunday Morning Extra, our podcast featuring a memorable story from our most recent show. It's a conversation that offers insights beyond the broadcast. He rode a blazing saddle.
He wore a shining star. On this episode, our contributor Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies catches up with a true comic legend, the one and only Mel Brooks. I don't get paid for this, do I?
No, just curious. Believe it or not, Mel Brooks has been making us laugh for more than 70 years. First as a comedy writer for Sid Caesar's Show of Shows, and then with his many films including such classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and of course The Producers.
Ben Mankiewicz visited Mel Brooks recently at his Santa Monica home. It's clear at age 93, Brooks is still as sharp and funny as ever. I knew from a very early age, I knew that comedy was my business, that comedy was my thing, it was me, because people would look down at my crib and I was only a few months old and they would laugh and I said that's it, that's it, that's what I want. When did you know that you were funny, that you could make people laugh?
Well, in school I guess, you know, my neck still hurts from being taken by the neck to the principal's office. Eugene Cohen and I, we were five, we were nine actually, about eight or nine, and every time I would do my impression of Boris Karloff saying this word, this one particular word, that was it. He'd go, you know, it's in the middle of a class, there's a teacher there, but he was on the floor screaming and the both of us would be down in the principal's office and the word was my impression of Boris Karloff, the monster, saying this word. He'd say, and that was it, and Eugene would be on the floor and that was the end of it. I knew, and it was so great, the rest of the class would laugh, they didn't know why they were laughing, but they knew they were.
I don't even know why it's funny, but it's undeniably funny. I wasn't a performer, I only one performance on the show of shows, in the nine years I wrote, brilliantly wrote the show of shows starring Sid Caesar, I only performed, and it was not even me, it was my cat sound. Sid wanted me to do a cat sound, dial him for money, he backs up in a dark room, he steps on a cat's tail, and I do that, and he wanted, and so I said okay, so I was going to do it, I'm going to do the cat sound, I'm going to perform, all right.
The sound man points to me, I see there's going to be over a million people hearing, I get scared, I'm dry, no cat, Sid keeps backing up, no cat, finally, I get a hug, Sid says good, finally, you know, so I said that was stage fright, it was, you know, mic fright, whatever, you know. Let's go back to 1961, how did you meet her? 1961, February 5th.
You know the date. Charles Strauss, who wrote All American with me, I wrote the book, Strauss says to me, he said come with me to the Zickfield Theater, there's a Perry Como rehearsal, Anne Bancroft is in the Perry Como show, I said so, so. You knew Anne Bancroft. I said yeah, I said miracle worker, Anne Bancroft of course, and there on the stage, Anne Bancroft comes out, and she's wearing a white gown, and she has jet black shiny hair, and the most beautiful eyes, and the most beautiful figure, and it was just like, I said, Kismet, look, what, anyway, I'm in love, I know, I'm just struck by her, I'm struck and I'm in love, and I scream out Anne Bancroft, I love you, she said who are you, I said I'm Mel Brooks, she said I got your record, you know, I did a record with Carl Ryan, a 2000 year old man, so we, I ran back, we talked, we talked, I said what are you doing, she said I have to see somebody at the William Morris Agency, I said, Bernie, I got to see him too, I just, I didn't, I went with her, I got a cab, I went, she liked my whistle, yeah, it's a good whistle, that's how you got the cab, I got a cab, she was impressed with the whistle, we went to William Morris office, and I never let go, I just, and then later that night, we went to Chinatown Charlie's, we had Chinese food together, the next night, she was somewhere, Jerry Orbach and his wife were throwing a party, and I found out she's going to be there, I showed up at the party, so every night, wherever she went, I would show up, and I'd say, you know, by the fourth or fifth time, I'd say, this is, it's Kismet, she told her therapist, her analyst, let's speed this process up, I've met the right man, like she knew too, we just, I mean, it was just nobody else, and ended up, we lived together for three, four years, and we were married 41 years, and I think it was Kismet, I think, you know, I was, I was very lucky, I had a, I had, I had the best life, because she was in it, I mean, she had everything, she had looks, she had brains, she had purpose, she could be the leading lady or an aide de camp, she could just be on stage with the spotlight and star in something, she was a great gift, she was a gift from God, she was funny, right, she was funny, she had, she had great timing, she had pauses, I said, where did you get those pauses? She said, when I did Mother Courage on Broadway, I met Gene Wilder, she gave me Gene Wilder, she said, he's, he's different, and I said, what's different, what's so different about Gene Wilder? And she said, he pauses. I said, what does that mean? She said, he pauses before he talks, and it's those pauses that make him different.
Gene always waited and made sense of what the other actor told him, that's his pause, and then he talked, and she said, that's, she said, I got a lot of my pauses from Gene, from Gene Wilder. Our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 05:55:45 / 2023-01-28 05:59:04 / 3