Master comedian Mel Brooks was born on this day in 1926. Few people know that Brooks was a combat engineer in WW2, building bridges and clearing minefields so Allied troops could advance and kick Nazi ass. Keep kicking Nazi ass, you wonderful mensch, we need you more than ever. pic.twitter.com/AoLQIBhpiD
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) June 28, 2023
Mel Brooks turns 97 today, which is amazing in itself but more amazing that he's still quite active writing, producing, voicing, whatevering new stuff. Don't know abt you but what must now be seen as his early/mid-career stuff was key element of my 70/80s childhood.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 28, 2023
And still active on Twitter, too!
It’s always nice when a mensch like Brooks gets his tributes while he can still appreciate them:
… As the legendary actor, filmmaker and comedian celebrates his birthday on Wednesday, Brooks shared a reflection on his life and longtime Hollywood career with PEOPLE.
“First of all, I am very happy to still be alive!” Brooks — whom the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Monday will receive an honorary Oscar at the 14th Governors Awards in November — tells PEOPLE in a statement.
“But secondly, it is so nice to be recognized by my peers in The Academy over 50 years after my last Oscar,” he adds. “A long time ago I was given a choice: I had an offer to be working as an apprentice accountant or as a coffee runner in show business. I’m still glad I chose the coffee.” …
During his 97 years on earth, Mel Brooks has learned a lot about happiness. What’s his secret? For our July/August issue, @JuddApatow interviewed the Hollywood legend, whose birthday is today, about his life in comedy: https://t.co/uuIuqBRcwN pic.twitter.com/vHGe1HdI0g
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) June 28, 2023
Haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but looks to be worth it:
Apatow: Do you have an interpretation of how people have changed over the generations? Or do you think it’s all basically the same?
Brooks: No, it’s not basically the same. They’ve changed, mostly for the better, mostly for being more tolerant and more understanding about people. And you know, as a matter of fact, it’s only recently that I’m aware of so much anti-Semitism. For many years, there was none that I was aware of…
Brooks: In the Army, I was entertaining and I was fun, and they overlooked that I was Jewish. They just liked me for my personality.
Apatow: Were you depressed?
Brooks: No! It was terrible and wonderful.
Apatow: And the wonderful part was the camaraderie?
Brooks: The wonderful part was camaraderie. The day the war ended, or was going to be ended, it was May 7. And they said, “Tomorrow, the war ends.” A buddy came with me from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where we both learned how to be radio operators for the Field Artillery—we both located into the combat engineers. He said to me, “Come with me.” We were in a little schoolhouse. And in the basement, he had set up a table with white wine. And he said, “We’re going to sleep here tonight and stay here all day tomorrow.” And I said, “Why?” He said, “Because tomorrow is going to be V-E Day. And knowing soldiers, they’re going to shoot their rifles up and yell and celebrate. Shoot a lot of stuff up in the air, forgetting that some of those bullets have to come down. So we’re going to spend all of it here.” Until when the celebration was over…