Tag Archives: The Producers

Trumped

There is nothing so important to a legit democracy than the ability to openly satirize and mock those in power.

Donald Trump has been an easy target for satire since he announced he was running for election. Now that he is unfortunately sitting in the most powerful office in the country, the target has become larger and easier for satire.

That being said, I give you Trumped, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, reprising their roles of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom from The Producers.

I will caution that one does need to know the overall plot from The Producers to get some of the jokes, but the skit also stands alone as a moment of political satire that is absolutely needed during this time in our country’s history.

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Thoughts On The 30th Anniversary Of Spaceballs

Mel Brooks has made a career out of lovingly satirizing our sacred cows. Whether it is history (History Of The World Part I), The Nazis (The Producers) or classic horror films (Young Frankenstein), he has knack for finding the satire in the sacred.

30 years ago, he satirized Star Wars and other science fiction films in his own version of a space adventure: Spaceballs. The planet Druidia has an abundant amount of fresh air. President Skroob (Mel Brooks) from the very polluted Planet Spaceballs send his henchmen, Lord Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) to capture the Druidian princess, Vespa (Daphne Zuniga). King Roland of Druidia (Dick Van Patten) must either give his planet’s air to the Spaceballs or lose his daughter. Enter Lone Star (Bill Pullman) who is sent by the king to rescue Vespa.

This movie is like most Mel Brooks movies. It borders on the absurd, takes easy pot shots at the revered and most of all, it makes us laugh.

30 years on, this movie is just as funny as it was in 1987.

May the schwartz be with you!

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RIP Gene Wilder

Last night, the world lost Gene Wilder, one of the greats of the comedy world.

Born to an Eastern European Jewish family who found a new home in Milwaukee, Gene Wilder (birth name Jerome Silberman) was known for playing characters that were slightly off base, a little manic and not all there sometimes.

His most famous roles range from the very 1970’s Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971) to his most famous collaborations with Mel Brooks: The Producers (1967) Young Frankenstein (1974).



In recent years, he took a step back from the spotlight, but did return to the small screen for a minor recurring role in Will And Grace in 2002 and 2003.

Off screen, colleagues and friends remembered him for being a gentle, caring human being. Married four times, his third marriage was to the late Gilda Radner, a comedy giant in her own right.

RIP Gene. Thanks for the laughs.

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Happy Birthday Mel Brooks

Today is the 90th birthday of the legendary comedian Mel Brooks.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on June 28th, 1925, Melvin Kaminsky would grow up to be one of the greatest comedians of the 20th century.

What can I say about this man? He is a comedic genius. His movies are completely quotable and his characters are outlandish. His characters say and do things that many writers and filmmakers would shy away from. There is no genre that remains untouched by his unique form of satire.

Mel Brooks has also had the good fortune to see two of his movies, Young Frankenstein and The Producers become hit Broadway musicals. Not bad for a Jewish kid from Brooklyn who was born right before the great depression.

I could go on and on, but I will let his movies do the talking.

Happy Birthday Mel Brooks, thanks for the laughter.

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Throwback Thursday-The Producers (1967 & 2005)

For many movie fans, Mel Brooks has a unique sense of humor and a unique comedic sense. Slightly bawdy, not so politically correct and perhaps, a little naughty.

In 1967, he was the brains behind The Producers. Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) is a down on his luck Broadway producer, who has to finance his shows by pretending to romance much older women to gain access to their money. Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) is an accountant who jumps at the sight of his own shadow.  Max convinces Leo to join him as a producer. Their idea is to bring a show to Broadway that is sure to be one of the biggest flops in theater history. The name of the show: Springtime For Hitler.

38 years later, after a very successful run on Broadway, The Producers once again returned to the big screen. Reprising they’re on stage roles were Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

The 1967 movie is a typical Mel Brooks film. The 2005 film, while it  remains true to both the original film and the stage production, lost some of the luster of the previous incarnations.

Do I recommend it? Let me put it this way. If you have never seen either film, first see the 1967 version. Then see the 2005 version. Me, I prefer the original film, but someone else may not.

 

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