The Pointe

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Happy 91st Birthday to Mel Brooks!

It’s June 28, 2019 – the 91st birthday of the comedy legend/filmmaker who... 

  • Sent us into Space with a motherlode of parody (*) 

  • Proved that “it’s good to be the King” (**), and 

  • Injected “Abby Normal” (***) into the vernacular  

Of course, we refer to the one-and-only Mel Brooks, born Melvin Kaminsky, in New York on this date in 1928. (1)  

its good to be the king.jpg

Mel Brooks’s life story is richly detailed in the biography: “It’s Good To Be The King – The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks.” (2) 

Available at MidPointe Library, the bio “traces the life and career of little Melvin Kaminsky, who began life as the adored youngest son of a Brooklyn Jewish family, thrown into poverty by the death of his father when Mel was four years old” as well as his “rise from street-corner wit to Borscht Belt comedian...his long and fruitful collaboration with comic genius Sid Caesar, during which Brooks came of age as a comedy writer; and recounts Brooks’s mad scramble to find a future in show business after Caesar lost his footing in the medium...” (2) 

The book also “traces the roots” of the classic Brooks/Carl Reiner “Two Thousand Year Old Man” comedy routine and shares the stories behind the Brooks  movies that never fail to entertain. (2) 

So, Happy Birthday! to Funny Man Mel Brooks, whose wit and satire have brightened even our darkest days. 

You are the King of Comedy. Like you said, “it’s good to be the king.” 

In the mood for a Mel Brooks movie?  

You’ll find “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “The Producers,” and “Spaceballs” (the sci-fi spoof that fits right in with MidPointe Library’s Space-themed Summer Reading Program!), plus related items at: www.midpointelibrary.org > Catalog Search > Mel Brooks 

You’ll also find Mel Brooks-related items on MidPointe’s eLibrary available at: www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Movies and TV shows 

Here’ a Mel Brooks Trivia Question: 

Q - Did you know that Mel Brooks had another title in mind for the film that became known as “Spaceballs”? 

spaceballs.png

A - According to the above-mentioned biography, Brooks originally favored naming the film “The Planet Moron.” His reasoning: “...When [aliens] invade, I want to be able to say, ‘We’re surrounded by Morons.’” The title became “Spaceballs” in order to “avoid confusion with a 1985 sci-fi comedy from the United Kingdom titled ‘Morons from Outer Space.’ (2) 

“Spaceballs” was released in June 1987. Although it “brought in a relatively low gross of $38.11 million in domestic distribution” Brooks considered it as “one of his most successful releases on VHS and DVD...” (2) 

*From “Spaceballs” 

**From “History of The World Part 1” 

***From “Young Frankenstein” 

Sources: 

  1. “The 2019 Chase’s Calendar of Events” available for checkout at MidPointe Library. 

  2. “It’s Good To Be The King – The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks” by James Robert Parish. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons Inc. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library. 

Don’t forget to take part in MidPointe Library’s popular “Summer Reading Program” for all ages now through July 31! It’s a local tradition!

Read books for prizes and enjoy special guests and fun programs! 

This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories,” a nod to the wonders of Outer Space and the 50th anniversary of American astronauts landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969. 

Launch yourself to MidPointe Library and visit our Space for Summer Reading!