In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, comedy legend Mel Brooks was asked if he thought it would be possible for him to make classics like The Producers and Young Frankenstein for modern audiences. “Maybe Young Frankenstein, but never Blazing Saddles,” he said of his 1974 Western parody, which stars Cleavon Little as the black sheriff of a hostile, white frontier town. “Because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy,” explained Brooks. “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 in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.” That being said, Brooks knows exactly where he draws his line in the sand, comedically speaking. “I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Everything else is okay. Naked people? Fine. I like naked people. They’re usually the most polite.” If his rationale is correct, the inevitable Hollywood remake of Blazing Saddles will have to be a 93-minute version of the campfire scene. And honestly? Audiences will love it.
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