• Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in 'Blazing Saddles' (1974). (AAP)Source: AAP
'Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks,' says the Oscar-winning comic/filmmaker.
By
reuters.com

Source:
Reuters
24 Sep 2017 - 12:12 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2017 - 12:12 PM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Blazing Saddles" may be a groundbreaking comedy, but director Mel Brooks doesn't think Hollywood would make the iconic Western parody in this current "stupidly politically correct" climate.

The Oscar winner discussed PC culture in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, calling it "the death of comedy."

"No, no, I mean maybe Young Frankenstein. Maybe a few. But never Blazing Saddles, because we have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy," he said when asked if he thinks he could get films like Blazing Saddles, The Producers, or Young Frankenstein made today. "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 about human behaviour."

Blazing Saddles, a Western spoof about a black sheriff in a racist town, starring Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little, contains numerous racial slurs.

However, even the Patron Saint of Going Too Far draws the line somewhere.

"I personally would never touch gas chambers or the death of children or Jews at the hands of the Nazis," he said. "Everything else is okay."

Watch 'Blazing Saddles' at SBS On Demand

 

Paul F. Tompkins is among the comedians who disagrees with Brooks, writing in a string of tweets, "'PC Culture' is not 'killing' comedy. There is still plenty of comedy. There always will be. Times change & so do comedy styles."

 

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