Mel Brooks On Comedy, The Borscht Belt, And His Dream Of Becoming A Salesman

Mel Brooks is enjoying something of a cultural resurgence of late (Not that he’s ever gone out of style). He sits on panels with Philip Roth, is the subject of an upcoming American Masters profile on PBS, and has a new career-spanning multi-media box setThe Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection Of Unhinged Comedy. As Mel himself would say – “It’s good to be the king.”

This morning NPR (known for their appreciation of fart scenes, and Star Wars parodies) posted a short interview with Mr. Brooks in which he waxes philosophical on performing in the Borscht Belt, his childhood dreams of becoming a salesman on 7th avenue, and his career in comedy. For anyone who’s ever hummed the opening bars of “Springtime For Hitler” without realizing it, or who can’t hear Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” without picturing Peter Boyle in a tux, this is mandatory listening.

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