If anybody knows how to be politically incorrect and play it for huge laughs, it’s Mel Brooks.
His irreverent comedies, with frequent use of the dreaded N-word, and racial stereotypes such as in his 1974 film Blazing Saddles, are unstoppable classics. But Brooks believes there’s no way Hollywood would ever green-light another comedy like his western parody. The legendary producer/filmmaker predicts a bleak future for the genre.
Brooks said our “stupidly politically correct society is the death of comedy,” according to the British paper The Telegraph,
“It’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks,” Brooks added. “Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”
Speaking about his movie Blazing Saddles, which starred Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, who avoids getting hanged and becomes the sheriff in an all-white town, Brooks said it was the bigotry in the script that made the film so funny and significant at the time.
“Without that the movie would not have had nearly the significance, the force, the dynamism and the stakes that were contained in it,” Brooks said.
That’s very much the same idea that the producers of All in the Family described Archie Bunker, played by the late Carol O’Connor. No ethnicity was safe from Bunker’s stereotypes or derogatory names. But it was that over-the-top persona which made it both hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time.
But even though Brooks is against the PC-culture, there is one subject he said is off limits for him:
“I personally would never touch gas chambers, or the death of children, or Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Everything else is ok.”
However, Brooks holds out the tiniest sliver of hope that he can someday turn Blazing Saddles into a successful Broadway show despite the obstacles political correctness has put in his path. What a lot of triggering that would cause.