Icon and comedy legend Mel Brooks is not happy with our growing political correctness. In an interview with BBC Radio, he said he would not be able to get some of his better known fims such as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers made today because political correctness has become the "death of comedy."
“No,” he quickly responded. “Maybe a few, but never Blazing Saddles because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy.”
“Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks,” Brooks continued. “Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”
There are a few things Brooks confessed he would never parody, such as gas chambers or the death of children or Jews. Nazis are a big red no where his comedy is concerned.
“Everything else is ok. Naked people? Fine. I like naked people. They’re usually the most polite.”
Mel Brooks joins several other celebrities in his view on political correctness.
According to the New York Post, Chris Rock complained that campuses today are “too conservative ... in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.”
Jerry Seinfeld says that he was told not to go near a college campus because "they're so PC."
John Cleese even joined the conversation with Bill Maher, lamenting that while political correctness “starts off as a halfway decent idea and then it goes completely wrong. It is taken ad absurdum.”
But there are comedians who disagree with Brooks' view. Paul F. Tompkins responded in a string of tweets that "there is still plenty of comedy."
Mel Brooks: “Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king's ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.” Is it?— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) September 22, 2017
Does Mel mean “court jester?” Because that guy was supposed to be the only guy WHO MADE FUN OF THE KING.— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) September 22, 2017
“PC Culture” is not “killing” comedy. There is still plenty of comedy. There always will be. Times change & so do comedy styles.— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) September 22, 2017
Brooks has turned his attention to making Young Frankestein into a West End stage show with Ross Noble and Lesley Joseph.