“Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy — and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king,” said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI’s board of Trustees. “He’s a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves and it is AFI’s honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting Mel Brooks the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award.”
The “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” helmer is one of only 14 people who have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.
His film company Brooksfilms Limited also produced “The Elepant Man,” “The Fly,” “Frances,” “My Favorite Year” and “84 Charing Cross Road.”
Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short “The Critic” and his second for the screenplay of “The Producers” in 1968. He won Emmys in 1997-1999 for “Mad About You” and three Tony Awards and two Grammys for “The Producers: the New Mel Brooks Musical,” which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2006.
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Brooks’ career began in TV writing for “Your Show of Shows” and together with Buck Henry, he created “Get Smart.”
He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the “2000 Year Old Man” comedy albums and books.
Brooks was honored by The Kennedy Center in 2009. His most recent projects include the HBO comedy special “Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again” and a DVD box set available this fall titled “The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection Of Unhinged Comedy.”