At 95, the legendary Mel Brooks continues to set the standard for comedy across television, film, and the stage. Now, for the first time, this EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winner shares his story in his own words.
“Laugh-out-loud hilarious and always fascinating, from the great Mel Brooks. What else do you expect from the man who knew Jesus and dated Joan of Arc?”—Billy Crystal
For anyone who loves American comedy, the long wait is over. Here are the never-before-told, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and remembrances from a master storyteller, filmmaker, and creator of all things funny.
All About Me! charts Mel Brooks’s meteoric rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers’ room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart. After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks’s stellar film career took off. He would go on to write, direct, and star in The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs, as well as produce groundbreaking and eclectic films, including The Elephant Man, The Fly, and My Favorite Year. Brooks then went on to conquer Broadway with his record-breaking, Tony-winning musical, The Producers.
All About Me! offers fans insight into the inspiration behind the ideas for his outstanding collection of boundary-breaking work, and offers details about the many close friendships and collaborations Brooks had, including those with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Madeleine Kahn, Alfred Hitchcock, and the great love of his life, Anne Bancroft.
Filled with tales of struggle, achievement, and camaraderie, listeners will gain a more personal and deeper understanding of the incredible body of work behind one of the most accomplished and beloved entertainers in history.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Mel Brooks is a comedy legend, and his much-anticipated memoir explains what makes him different. In a profession where barely concealed hostility underpins many people’s work, Brooks’ heart is full of love. The comedian’s anecdotes about his Depression-era childhood with a single mom in a Brooklyn tenement are downright uplifting, and when he reminisces about his late wife, Anne Bancroft, he sounds as giddily smitten as he was when they first met in 1961. When Brooks breaks down how he created anarchic comedies like The Producers and Blazing Saddles, we really get a sense of what a brilliant filmmaker he was—it’s no coincidence that the wildly silly Young Frankenstein has a strong emotional center. Brooks tackles the narration like the natural-born entertainer he is, putting on funny voices and even breaking into song. Settle into a comfy chair and listen as he masterfully reels off one unforgettable tale after another.
Beyond expiration date
I was really looking forward to this book as Mel Brooks always has fantastic interviews. There is a lot of interesting information presented such as Mel growing up in New York, life in the army and the early days of TV all which I knew little about, all very interesting. Unfortunately, that is only half the book. The other half is reciting entire you’re pages of dialogue from him movies (which is meant to be seen and not read), doing complete stand up routines (I swear, he does the “I just flew in and boy are my arms tired” bit) and repeating past glories in different chapters (very repetitive) Still, I recommend this book but just barely.