Mel Brooks, whose career in comedy includes writing and directing iconic comedies "The Producers," and "Young Frankenstein," will receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award on June 6. And if you ask him, it's about time. SOUNDBITE: Mel Brooks, entertainment, saying (English): "They're finally recognizing that I'm a pretty good director. They say, 'comedy force, funny, good writer, funny actor. Nobody every, in the press or anywhere, said I was a good director." In 1974 Brooks' film "Blazing Saddles" about a black sheriff and a drunken gunfighter is ranked number 6 on the AFI'S list of Hollywood's 100 funniest movies. As Brooks thinks back he doesn't think the same movie would get made today. SOUNDBITE: Mel Brooks, entertainment, saying (English): "I don't think you could do that picture today. I don't think they'd allow it, the studios. Unless it was a black cast doing a picture about black people, then it would be allowed." Brooks is considered to be a pioneer in Hollywood for combining humor and absurdity, paving the way for box office smashes "Scary Movie" and "The Hangover." He's not shy about it either. SOUNDBITE: Mel Brooks, entertainment, saying (English): "I hope that, in some way, I've been responsible for the vulgarity that's filling the screens now. It's comedy." Brooks' entire career will be recognized on May 20, when PBS will premiere "American Masters Mel Brooks: Make a Noise," a documentary that traces his life from his childhood in Brooklyn to Broadway, where a musical adaptation of his film "The Producers" won 12 Tony Awards.
May 16 - The American Film Institute will honor Brooks for his achievements in writing and directing. Alicia Powell reports. ( Transcript )
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