Mel Brooks Being Honored With Major Career Achievement Award

by Suzanne Halliburton

Mel Brooks knows it’s good to be the king. And the iconic writer, director and producer is being honored as such.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has announced that Brooks will receive its career achievement award.

Mel Brooks gave entertainment fans everything. He wrote the TV show, Get Smart. Starting in the late 1960s, Mel Brooks gave the world The Producers. He stuck with satire films with Blazing Saddles, History of the World Part 1 and High Anxiety. In 2001, He took The Producers to Broadway and the play earned 15 Tony Award nominations, with a dozen wins, including Best Musical.

“Mel Brooks is a national treasure and a comedy filmmaking legend,” LAFCA president Claudia Puig said in a statement. “Most of our members could probably quote whole swathes of his screenplays. He not only has made us laugh uproariously, he has broken comic barriers and paved the way for and influenced generations of filmmakers after him.”

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner also created their infamous 2000 Year Old Man. In the routine Brooks always was the world’s longest living human. The comedy albums nabbed the pair a couple of Grammy nominations in 1961, 1962 and 1964. They won in 1999.

(Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Call Him a Late Bloomer: Mel Brooks Didn’t Start Making Films Until He was 42

Mel Brooks didn’t become a filmmaker until he was in his early 40s. That’s when he did The Producers, which was a movie about the making of a really bad musical — Springtime for Hitler. Brooks earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.

Brooks is best known for his satires. Folks at Halloween probably still watch Young Frankenstein, decades after Brooks made it. Blazing Saddles, also a satire, skewered Westerns, giving them a raunchy, hilarious vibe.

After The Producers dazzled Broadway in 2001, Mel Brooks picked up another distinction. He became one of 15 people to win an EGOT — Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. The Producers even garnered Brooks some bookend Grammys.

Mel Brooks also has earned several more impressive career achievement awards. He received the Kennedy Center Award in 2009. The American Film Institute presented Brooks with his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Then BAFTA presented Brooks with its Academy Fellowship in 2017.

Brooks once said: “If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.” And that’s basically been his career. At 95, he’s still noisy, colorful and lively. Last month, Hulu announced it was making the sequel to History of the World. Brooks is a writer and executive producer for the project. So are Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter. The sequel won’t be a movie. Rather, it’s an eight-part series. Production is expected to start next spring.

So look out for some more whacky segments from the Stone Age, Ancient Rome and the French Revolution. And it won’t be a Brooks kind of movie unless there are silly musical numbers. Who can forget the Spanish Inquisition or Jews in Space.

And surely, there also will be plenty of it’s Good to be the King.