An introductory course on the iconic Mel Brooks, via 5 of his most essential works. Head to our site for a more in-depth primer on his influential career:
  1. Young Frankenstein (1974)
    5c6f3fbc 951d 402f 9559 b119cac52667
    While rarely mentioned among its decade’s greatest films, Young Frankenstein absolutely should be. This is an essentially perfect comedy, one that features remarkable visual beauty and even some pathos among the huge belly laughs.
  2. Blazing Saddles (1974)
    97c703e6 2fb4 4521 911d 63384c01091b
    A safe choice for the funniest movie ever made, this is Brooks at his most deliciously vulgar and anarchic. It’s forever the standard for comic Westerns, but behind the jokes is an unflinching look at race.
  3. Get Smart (1965-70)
    817f539e 42ba 45bf aa49 02c2168a7174
    Brooks would become less involved with this classic spy comedy after its first season, but the whole series is tremendous fun. Even if he hadn’t graduated to film, this effort would be enough to position Brooks as a force of major influence.
  4. The Producers (1967 and 2001)
    3eff30a1 cff5 4792 b132 a6c2ce3399e7
    Brooks’ cinematic debut remains a masterpiece of low comedy, one that doubles as a thesis statement for his own success-despite-tastelessness. The onstage version is sweeter, but no less enjoyable.
  5. Spaceballs (1987)
    Ffd55338 5180 44e6 abcb 89e1e135b30d
    While not his most assured or out-and-out funniest film, Spaceballs perfectly demonstrates how enjoyable Brooks’ goofiness can be, even when he’s operating on auto-pilot (at ludicrous speed).