Comedian Mel Brooks says political correctness is the death of comedy. Brooks is currently preparing to open his stage version of the film Young Frankenstein in London’s Garrick Theater. As the theater prepares for an October opening, Brooks gave an interview about the show and his long career to BBC Radio 4’s Rebecca Jones.
Asked if any of his films could get made today, Brooks replied, “No, no. I mean maybe Young Frankenstein and maybe a few but never Blazing Saddles because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy.” He continued, “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 into the king’s ear, always telling the truth, always telling the truth about human behavior.”
“You’ve been called the patron saint of going too far,” Jones said. “I like that,” Brooks replied.
Asked if there is anything he wouldn’t parody he said, “Yes, there is. I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children and Jews at the hands of the Nazis. Everything else is okay.”
Brooks may never have gone that far but he has spent plenty of time mocking Hitler and the Nazis with his film, and stage show, The Producers.
Here’s the full interview from BBC 4 Radio: