Why I can’t wait for Mel Brooks’ new memoir


Jordan Palmer

“I hope fans of comedy will get a kick out of the stories behind my work, and really enjoy taking this remarkable ride with me.”—Mel Brooks

I’m a fan, and I can’t wait to take this ride with you Mel.

I believe the reason it took Brooks 95-years to write his story, is that you don’t want to do a memoir till you’re done working, done doing what you do best, and even at 95, I suspect Brooks said to himself, “Oy, I ain’t done, but what the hell.”  ALL ABOUT ME! My Remarkable Life in Show Business, is expected to arrive in the U.S. on November 30. You can preorder a copy here.

From the first time my father took me to the old Wehrenberg Des Peres 4 Cine, to see Young Frankenstein, I was hooked. As I grew loving comedies, Brooks set the standard for all of them. He knew “funny” and knew how to make you know you were seeing “funny.”  I didn’t understand the true genius of the “Silent Movie” till later in life. The actual thought process to develop the bit, where the only word in the entire movie is spoken by a mime.  Pure, un-unadulterated genius.


Watching Brooks’ films today gives me a sense of nostalgic wonder. What did he and Marty Feldman talk about before a scene? How did Brooks first meet Dom DeLuise? And tell me everything there is about Gene Wilder and Harvey Corman on the set of Blazing Saddles. Tell me it ALL!  This is why I’m so excited to read this book. I can’t wait to learn about how his brain works.

“It was joyous and at times bittersweet writing this book and reliving the peaks and valleys of my incredible journey from Brooklyn to Hollywood to Broadway,” Brooks said in a recent press interview. “I hope fans of comedy will get a kick out of the stories behind my work, and really enjoy taking this remarkable ride with me.”

The Book

ALL ABOUT ME! charts Brooks’ rise from a Depression-era kid in Brooklyn to the recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Whether serving in the United States Army in World War II, or during his burgeoning career as a teenage comedian in the Catskills, Mel was always mining his experiences for material, always looking for the perfect joke. His iconic career began with Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, where he was part of the greatest writers’ room in history, which included Carl Reiner, Neil Simon, and Larry Gelbart.

After co-creating both the mega-hit 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and the classic television series Get Smart, Brooks’ stellar film career took off. He would go on to write, direct, and star in The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs, as well as produce groundbreaking and eclectic films, including The Elephant Man, The Fly, and My Favorite Year. Brooks then went on to conquer Broadway with his record-breaking, Tony-winning musical, The Producers.

As I said before, it’s understanding the insights into the inspiration behind the ideas for his outstanding collection of work, and details about the many close friendships and collaborations Brooks had, including those with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Gene Wilder, Madeleine Kahn, Alfred Hitchcock, and his late wife, Anne Bancroft, the love of his life.