Mel Brooks may need to buy another mantle. He is to be the second EGOT champ, after Mike Nichols in 2010, to receive a tribute from the American Film Institute.
In making the announcement Friday, Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI board of trustees, said, “Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king. He’s a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves, and it is AFI’s honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting Mel Brooks the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award.”
Brooks won the Emmy — for co-writing the “Your Show of Shows” reunion special — in 1967 and the Oscar the following year for his original script of “The Producers.” Three decades later, he and Carl Reiner won the spoken comedy album Grammy for “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000.” And he celebrated the first year of the new millennium with a legit version of “The Producers” which won a record-breaking 12 Tonys, including awards for Brooks for book and score.
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Three films from this talented writer/director/actor ranked on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list issued in 2000: “Blazing Saddles” came in at number six, “The Producers” was at 11 and “Young Frankenstein” was a lucky thirteen.
The AFI tribute is slated for June 6 in Los Angeles with TNT to broadcast it later that month followed by an encore on TCM.