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 funniest war story
I was a corporal in World War II. One day, I took eight guys out on a scouting mission, and we found a box of German rifles. Nearby, there were telephone polls with the ceramic insulators at the top. So I say, “A buck a piece—whoever can knock off the most insulators gets the pot.” We grab the rifles and start shooting. Somebody from Arkansas—they know how to do it—knocked off all of them and gets the nine bucks. When we get back to our base, sirens are going off. Everybody’s running around. I see my sergeant and ask what’s going on. He says, “Communications have been cut off between the 7th Army and the 26th Corps. All the telephone lines are down. We think there are snipers and we’re getting a patrol together to find them.” Now, I’m a little scared. I know exactly who’s at fault. So I said, “Okay, count me in.” and out I went again. We never did find them.

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