Mel Brooks certainly rode a blazing saddle. With a Grammy, Tony, Oscar and Emmy under his belt and the honor of having three of his films ranked in the top 20 on AFI’s 100 comedies of all-time, it’s safe to say this guy knows funny. After rewatching the musical mash-up of his work at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, I decided to put together a little list (in no particular order) of my favorite Mel Brooks comedies. LISTS!

Spaceballs (1987)

Brooks’ Star Wars spoof is packed full of ridiculous gags that’ll make you roll with laughter and slap your forehead sighing, “wow he actually went through with that one” (gotta love that jammed radar joke). With Rick Moranis, John Candy and Mel Brooks himself at the helm of this satirical ship, it’s a must see for any comedy fan. May the Schwartz be with you.

Blazing Saddles (1974)

The movie that gave us the famous campfire fart scene, Blazing Saddles tells the twisted tale of a corrupt political boss who convinces the dim-witted Governor (cross-eyed, paddle ball enthusiast Mel Brooks) to elect a black Sheriff in hopes that he will be lynched leaving it unprotected for bandits. With Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn and Cleavon Little, this movie satirizes the obscured racism of Cowboy movies…but more importantly it’s hilarious.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

As the tagline states, “the legend had it coming…”. Mel Brooks retells the Robin Hood mythos with his own comedic, satirical twist in his parody of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Robin Hood leads his men in tights (tight tights!) to steal from the rich, give to the poor and yadda yadda you know the story already. Cary Elwes, Dave Chappelle and Richard Lewis front this film and deliver a stream of gags that will most likely leave you more entertained than the recent Russell Crowe adaptation.

The Producers (1968)

Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, need I say more? Brooks’ most ambitious project is about a pair of Producers who realize you can make more money with a flop than with a hit, and then go on to produce “Springtime for Hitler” (a supposed sure-fire flop) only to have audiences fall in love with it. While most critics at the time hated this film, it’s garnered a significant cult following due to the musical adaptation’s success (also written by Mel Brooks) and the fact that it’s amazing.

High Anxiety (1978)

Have you ever thought that Alfred Hitchcock was too dark and just needed to lighten up a little? Well apparently so did Mel Brooks and so he created High Anxiety an homage to the Master of Suspense, parodying “The Birds”, “Psycho” and “Vertigo” to name a few. The film stars Brooks staples Madeline Kahn and Harvey Korman and is a laugh a minute.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle and Cloris Leachman lead this classic horror movie spoof about a young Dr. Frankenstein (that’s Frankensteen, thank you very much) who travels to his Grandfather’s castle for scientific research, ultimately ending in reanimating human life! Brooks is at his best with this movie and the scene where Dr. Frankenstein and Igor discuss a werewolf is so stupid that it’s amazing.

The Producers (2005)

Yeah, yeah I know, I already have “The Producers” on my list, but this one is the musical adaptation and is significantly different than the original. So there. With Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell, the musical version tells basically the same story as it’s predecessor but with enough changes for it to be a completely different experience. Mel Brooks further proves his comic genius (as if that needed proving) by writing all of the songs in this musical, and you’ll be singing “keep it gay” weeks after watching.

History of the World: Part I (1981)

What Mel Brooks movie list is complete without “History of the World: Part I”? This film gave us the famous Brooks line, “It’s good to be the king” as well as an assortment of jokes and gags that you’ll recognize even if you haven’t seen the film. It’s one heck of a movie and if you’re a Mel Brooks fan who hasn’t seen it (which is doubtful) change that now!

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