ALL ABOUT ME! by MEL BROOKS

Audiobook – Narrated by Mel Brooks

Garry and I have been listening to this wonderful audiobook. Mel Brooks is one of those people who seems to love everyone and never has a bad word to say about anyone. I don’t know if he is really like that all the time, but in his book, he is a joy and probably, to no one’s surprise, funny.

Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks

This is the kind of book for which audiobooks were made. He makes us laugh, he makes us cry and laugh at the same time. He loved his entire family, his friends, his wife (he adored Anne Bancroft and his best friend, Carl Reiner) and yet he is still — at 95 — full of life and enthusiasm.

Although the book is mostly about his movies and how they got made, there is also enough personal information to give context to the movies.

From left, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear and Carl Reiner in the HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” Photo credit, HBO

Even if Audiobooks is not usually your “thing,” this one deserves to be heard. I don’t think anyone could tell Mel Brooks’ story as well as Mel does himself. It’s everything a book about movies should be: accurate, complete, and full of backstories that make you go “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, and Dick Van Dyke. Carl Reiner died age 98 in June 2020.

I suppose you could call us fans. I have never bought a “collection” of movies — except for the Mel Brooks collection. And I bought it knowing I owned most of them as single DVDs. I just wanted the set.

Maybe we should all adopt Mel’s philosophy. If you make people laugh at the bad guys, it destroys their power over us.

What we really need is a Mel Brooks style comedy about our dysfunctional government and its failure to have even a minor grip on reality and the world.

“Laughter,” said Mel, “Is a protest scream against death, against the long goodbye.” As Mel most succinctly put it, “Let’s laugh ourselves sane.”

There’s a really good New York Times review of the book by Alexandra Jacobs. Here’s a link. She obviously listened to it too. It’s so very worth the listen. I may need to listen to it again. And again.



Categories: Anecdote, Audiobook, Book Review, Books, Celebrities, Humor, Movies, Remembering - Memories

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. I NEVER MET MEL BROOKS, BUT I HAD A WONDERFUL EVENING WITH HIS WIFE, ANN BANCROFT, DURING WHICH WE WENT TO AN AMUSEMENT PARK WITH A MUTUAL FRIEND ONE EVENING. THIS WAS BEFORE SHE MEET BROOKS. SHE AND I SCURRRIJED AROUND THE FUN HOUSE PLAYING TRICKS OUR FRIEND. WE ALSO HAD A QUIET DINNER ANOTHER NIGHT AFTER I’D TAKEN THEM FOR A TOUR OF DESILU STUDIOS WHERE I WORKED AT THAT TIME. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL, INTELLIGENT, AND HAD A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR.

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    • She and Mel had the kind of marriage we all wish we had. Most people described it as “perfect.” They were really happy — for all 40 years they were together. The book is fun to listen to. I know the book is also out in print, but this is a book that is so much better because Mel is a great and funny promoter of himself. Well, the book is all about him. He’s not hiding his light 😀

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  2. It’s not a Mel Brooks comedy, but if you want to see a movie “about our dysfunctional government and its failure to have even a minor grip on reality and the world,” you should watch “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix. I won’t say much about it in case you want to watch it, but Meryl Streep make an excellent portrayal of a Donald Trump-like president.

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    • You are the 4th person to recommend this book in the past two days, so probably we should watch it. Mel’s book is light and often interesting and he’s a surprisingly good narrator. We knew a lot of this material from other reading — Garry’s something of a movie maven anyway — but he ties it together well and he’s very good and praising everyone he’s ever worked with. Including himself 😀

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