A deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater, from Patrick McGilligan, the acclaimed author of Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award–winner Mel Brooks was behind (and sometimes in front the camera too) of some of the most influential comedy hits of our time, including The 2,000 Year Old Man, Get Smart, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. But before this actor, writer, director, comedian, and composer entertained the world, his first audience was his family. The fourth and last child of Max and Kitty Kaminsky, Mel Brooks was born on his family’s kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, and was not quite three-years-old when his father died of tuberculosis. Growing up in a household too poor to own a radio, Mel was short and homely, a mischievous child whose birth role was to make the family laugh. Beyond boyhood, after transforming himself into Mel Brooks, the laughs that came easily inside the Kaminsky family proved more elusive. His lifelong crusade to transform himself into a brand name of popular humor is at the center of master biographer Patrick McGilligan’s Funny Man. In this exhaustively researched and wonderfully novelistic look at Brooks’ personal and professional life, McGilligan lays bare the strengths and drawbacks that shaped Brooks’ psychology, his willpower, his persona, and his comedy. McGilligan insightfully navigates the epic ride that has been the famous funnyman’s life story, from Brooks’s childhood in Williamsburg tenements and breakthrough in early television—working alongside Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner—to Hollywood and Broadway peaks (and valleys). His book offers a meditation on the Jewish immigrant culture that influenced Brooks, snapshots of the golden age of comedy, behind the scenes revelations about the celebrated shows and films, and a telling look at the four-decade romantic partnership with actress Anne Bancroft that superseded Brooks’ troubled first marriage. Engrossing, nuanced and ultimately poignant, Funny Man delivers a great man’s unforgettable life story and an anatomy of the American dream of success. Funny Man includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.
funny man mel brooks
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Mel Brooks is often regarded as one of Hollywood’s funniest men, thanks to such highly successful films as The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. His films do have a tendency to turn out much like the jokes that comprise them—hit-or-miss, one minute shoot-the-moon brilliant and the next minute well short of laughs. This work provides a thorough synopsis and thematic analysis for each of his twelve films along with complete cast and production credits: The Producers (1968), The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World—Part 1 (1981), To Be or Not to Be (1983), Spaceballs (1987), Life Stinks (1991), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993), and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995).
Alex Symons takes a unique, artist-focused approach in order to systematically identify the range of Brooks's adaptation strategies across the Hollywood film, Broadway theatre and American television industries.
Documenting the amazing back story of the world's first Jewish superhero, Siegel and Shuster's Funnyman is an important document of comics and Jewish history. Funnyman, aka Larry Davis, is a red-haired television comedian whose agent talks him into performing a superhero-like stunt in order to obtain publicity. This stunt goes wrong when Larry finds himself in a real crime scene. Larry stops this criminal, not knowing what he is doing is real until after the fact. Discovering that he enjoys fighting crime, Larry begins a career as the costumed crime fighter Funnyman.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created two superheroes. One is Superman. The other is Funnyman, and this book details his amazing back story. Inside find reproductions from Funnyman, s rare comic books, Sunday funnies and daily strips. Revealed by authors Andrae and Gordon: The actual living model for Superman. The creation of Jewish humor and the cultural origins of Funnyman. Why a strange comic superhero emerged at the time of the creation of the state of Israel.
Discusses the personal life and professional career of comedy writer/actor/filmmaker Mel Brooks.
A two-thousand-year-old man visits an elementary school and answers questions from a teacher and students, in a picture-book variation of the authors' classic skit, and includes a CD with the comedians performing their text.
The four volumes of Film Study include a fresh approach to each of the basic categories in the original edition. Volume one examines the film as film; volume two focuses on the thematic approach to film; volume three draws on the history of film; and volume four contains extensive appendices listing film distributors, sources, and historical information as well as an index of authors, titles, and film personalities.
I Remember Me weaves an American tapestry of colorful tales, beginning with the timid musings of a young boy on the verge of becoming a man in the Jewish section of New York’s Bronx neighborhood, and bringing us up to date with the mature insight of a man whose remarkable trajectory has sent him to the top of Hollywood’s elite and sparked the careers of dozens of household-name entertainers. Along the way, Reiner treats his loyal readers to everything from the ordinary to the truly unforgettable: a family trip to a nude beach, French lessons with Mel Brooks, a chapter dedicated to Rinnie the dog who unfortunately mistakes a skunk for a cat, a surprise early-morning visit from the McCarthy era FBI, a heart wrenching story of loss describing the day of his wife’s passing, and then in a revealing chapter of Reiner’s character, he describes “the most theatrically triumphant day” of his young career. Through his memoir, we meet the man behind the success in roles rarely seen before: son to Romanian immigrant Irving Reiner, husband to fellow Bronx native and renowned singer Estelle Reiner, father to the prolific filmmaker Rob Reiner, Dr. Annie Reiner psychoanalyst & gifted singer, and Lucas Reiner, a globally recognized fine artist. Written with the same combination of playful jest and modest humility that has garnered the love and respect of fans for generations, I Remember Me remembers the creative and inspiring journey of one of the most revered comedic icons of the past hundred years. “Carl Reiner is at that wonderful point in life where he knows absolutely everything. Especially, how to tell a wonderful story. I just love being in his world and this book is the Grand Tour.” Jerry Seinfeld “Great stories from the great Carl Reiner. I liked Chapter 29 the best.” Albert Brooks “At a time when so much of comedy can be cruel and mean spirited... Carl Reiner is a perfect example of comedy and kindness mixed with just the right amount of biting wit to make for a really satisfying read.” Jay Leno “Crime and Punishment has always been my favorite book... Until Now!” Mel Brooks
A movie guide for film and comedy fans, by filmmakers and comedians, for the movie lover with a good sense of humor. Tired of the usual boring, dry movie discussion? The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies is something new. Is it serious movie discussion? Is it funny? Do the writers know what the hell they are talking about? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Okay, that’s too many yes’s, but you get the point. Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini, both professional filmmakers and comedians, created comedyfilmnerds.com to mind meld the idea of real movie talk and real funny. And they called in all of their professionally funny and filmy friends to help them. Comedians and writers who have been on everything from the Tonight Show to their own comedy specials tell you what’s what about their favorite film genres. While The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies is funny and informative, each genre is given a personal touch. All of the Comedy Film Nerds have a love of film and a personal connection to each genre. Read about a love of film from an insider’s perspective. The Comedy Film Nerds Guide to Movies brings what has been missing from movie discussion for too long: a healthy dose of humor.