Mel Brooks: His Favorite Joke and Other Funny Stories

A rare interview with the legendary Mel Brooks as he looks back on his funniest moments.

Interviewed by Andy Simmons

Mel’s favorite joke
My favorite joke is very, very cheap. I love it because it’s typical of a Borscht Belt opening monologue, the kind a “Jackie” or a “Bernie” would tell. The joke is: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I met a beautiful girl last night, but she was rather thin. I mean this is a skinny girl. You never saw anybody so thin. She turned sideways you didn’t see her. I took her to a restaurant and the maître ‘d said to me, ‘Check your umbrella?’” That was my opening joke when I played the Catskills. Cheap, but effective.

Mel’s favorite word
I like Chicken. I like the “ch”, I like the “ih”, and I like the “kuh”. I like chicken better than “pickle”. The “l” kind of softens it for me.

Carl and Mel talk about cheese:

Next: At war with Mel…

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