‘Mel Brooks Unwrapped’ Special Coming to HBO

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Mel Brooks (Photo: HBO; used with permission)

Legendary filmmaker, writer and actor Mel Brooks will be the subject of a career-spanning HBO special, Mel Brooks Unwrapped. The program will premiere Fri., Dec. 13 (9:00-10:10 p.m. ET/PT), and will also be available on HBO Now, HBO Go, HBO on Demand and partners’ streaming platforms. From the groundbreaking TV series Your Show of Shows to landmark films like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Brooks has been one of the most influential voices in comedy.

The HBO comedy special features the award-winner in interviews past and present with Alan Yentob, former creative director for the BBC. Since 1981, Yentob has filmed Brooks for a number of candid conversations and mock interviews, many of which showcase a more reserved Yentob as “straight man” to Brooks’ high-energy, quick-witted, unsparingly sarcastic persona. Combining Yentob’s archival material with present-day interviews and verité footage of the now 93-year-old Brooks, the special is filled with the venerated comedian’s hilarious anecdotes about his life and illustrious career.

Mel Brooks Unwrapped also shows Yentob following Brooks in his day-to-day life, including a visit with long-time friend and collaborator Carl Reiner – who dubs Mel “the funniest human being in the world” – to share some spaghetti and meatballs and watch some iconic clips from Brooks’ 60-plus years in showbiz.

Watch the trailer for Mel Brooks Unwrapped

The special marks Mel Brooks’ fourth appearance on HBO in recent years, following 2011’s Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again, 2012’s Mel Brooks Strikes Back! and 2014’s Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen, all of which have been nominated for Emmy® awards.

Among Brooks’ other classic comedy films as director, writer, producer and/or actor are History of the World Part 1, Silent Movie, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein all appear on the AFI’s list of Funniest American Films. Brooks co-created, with Buck Henry, the hit TV series, Get Smart.

Mel Brooks is one of the few artists who have earned “EGOT” status, winning an Oscar (Best Writing for The Producers), a Grammy (Best Spoken Comedy Album for The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000, Best Musical Show Album for The Producers and Best Long Form Music Video for Recording the Producers – A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks), an Emmy® (Outstanding Writing Achievement for a Sid Caesar special and three consecutive awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Mad About You) and a Tony (Best Musical, Best Original Musical Score and Best Book of a Musical for The Producers).

Brooks is one of just 15 who have earned an EGOT. Others include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Audrey Hepburn and John Legend.

His 1974 film comedy, Young Frankenstein, earned two Academy Award nominations, though it failed to win.

Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY. He married his second wife, actress Anne Bancroft, in 1964. She died in 2005. The pair starred together in Brooks’ 1983 film, To Be or Not To Be where they, yes, sang “Sweet Georgia Brown” in Polish.

Related: Gene Wilder, who starred in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers, died in 2016

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner (Photo via Reiner’s Facebook page)

He and Carl Reiner formed a comedy duo in the 1950s, which notably featured The 2000 Year Old Man sketch, with Brooks as the titular character interviewed by his friend: “I have over 1500 children and not one of them ever comes to visit.”

To this day, the two widowers, both well into their nineties, have dinner together almost every night.

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  1. Error:840
    #1 Error:840 6 December, 2019, 02:43

    I wish we could listen to their dinner conversation, it’s likely much funnier then dialog heard in today’s comedies.

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