The Oscar winner discussed PC culture in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, calling it “the death of comedy.”
“No, no, I mean maybe ‘Young Frankenstein.’ Maybe a few. But never ‘Blazing Saddles,’ because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy,” he said when asked if he thinks he could get films like “Blazing Saddles,” “The Producers,” or “Young Frankenstein” made today. “It’s okay not to hurt feelings of various tribes and groups. However, it’s not good for comedy. Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering into the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”
“Blazing Saddles,” a Western spoof about a black sheriff in a racist town, starring Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, contains numerous racial slurs.
However, even the Patron Saint of Going Too Far draws the line somewhere.
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“I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis,” he said. “Everything else is okay.”
Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” stage musical opens Oct. 10 on London’s West End.
Paul F. Tompkins is among the comedians who disagrees with Brooks, writing in a string of tweets, “‘PC Culture’ is not ‘killing’ comedy. There is still plenty of comedy. There always will be. Times change & so do comedy styles.”