“Blazing Saddles” has long been considered an all-time-great comedy, as have several other movies directed by Mel Brooks. In a new BBC Radio 4 interview, the revered actor and filmmaker was asked whether he thought he’d be able to make such films as “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers” today. His response touched on a hot topic in the comedy world of late: political correctness.
“Maybe ‘Young Frankenstein,’ but never ‘Blazing Saddles,’” said Brooks. “Because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy. It’s okay not to hurt feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”
Not that he thinks every subject is conducive to laughs or nothing is off limits. “I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis,” Brooks said. “Everything else is okay. Naked people? Fine. I like naked people. They’re usually the most polite.” Listen to his full interview here.