Mel Brooks Receives the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Film Institute honored Mel Brooks last night with a lifetime achievement award, and a seemingly-endless slew of his comedy and movie peers were in attendance to honor him. Larry David, Carl Reiner, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, David Lynch, Conan O’Brien, Martin Short, Cloris Leachman, Richard Lewis, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman all took to the stage to crack jokes and speak Brooks’s praises. Here’s a collection of the best quotes from the evening:

“The thing about Mel is he never lets his love of Scientology affect his work” - Martin Short

“This is nearly an important occasion” - Mel Brooks

“When I telephoned Mel to tell him the AFI had voted him in as the 2013 recipient, he responded instantly, ‘What took you so long?’” - Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees Howard Stringer

“As you may know I have an Oscar. I won it in 1971 for The Last Picture Show. I started working with Mel Brooks a year later and I haven’t won one since. Not even a nomination, bupkis.” - Cloris Leachman

“Mel was the product of a mixed marriage. His mother was Jewish, his father was unbelievably Jewish.” - Martin Short

“[Brooks was so funny] I said to myself, I can never, ever be a comedian. What’s the point? So Mel Brooks didn’t get me into comedy; he kept me away from it. I wasted years doing nothing because of him” - Larry David

“Finally, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mel Brooks. Wow, what an eloquent way to say, ‘Hey, let’s wrap it up.’” - Sarah Silverman

“Movies saved my life. They rescued my soul. No matter what was bad or wrong, it could be wiped out on Saturday morning.” - Mel Brooks

“Normally, I don’t agree with the AFI choices. Tonight, I kinda do.” - Mel Brooks

Mel Brooks Receives the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award