Parish, author of many books including Katharine Hepburn: The Untold Storyand Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flaps), here traces the life and career of mirthmaker Mel Brooks from the Borscht Belt to Broadway. Born Melvin Kaminsky, he grew up as a Brooklyn classroom clown, honing his stage skills in the Catskills before arriving in WWII France as an army combat engineer. The bombastic Brooks clawed his way into early television as a writer for Sid Caesar: "I was aggressive. I was a terrier, a pit bull terrier. I was unstoppable. I would keep going until my joke or my sketch was in the show." Caesar's shows were a launchpad, catapulting Brooks into a multifaceted comedy career that embraced theater (Shinbone Alley) and sitcoms (Get Smart), recordings (the 2000 Year Old Man series) and acting (Mad About You). He began directing in 1968 with The Producers, followed by the equally hilarious Blazing Saddlesand Young Frankenstein. Along the way, he picked up Emmys, Tonys, a Grammy, an Oscar and Anne Bancroft, whom he married in 1964. Brooks's probing self-insights and clever quotes abound. While his sense of timing, delivery and charming goofiness may not always translate to the written page, readers will be satisfied with the details unearthed by Parish's exhaustive research. 16 b&w photos. (Mar.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooksby James Robert Parish
This book traces the extraordinary life and career of Mel Brooks, who has ridden a wave of show business success perhaps unsurpassed by anyone of his generation. Offering many insights into the wacky world of Brooks and his many collaborators, as well as an intimate look into his successful marriage to the brilliant and beautiful actress Anne Bancroft, It's
This book traces the extraordinary life and career of Mel Brooks, who has ridden a wave of show business success perhaps unsurpassed by anyone of his generation. Offering many insights into the wacky world of Brooks and his many collaborators, as well as an intimate look into his successful marriage to the brilliant and beautiful actress Anne Bancroft, It's Good to Be the King might just be the most delightful, engaging, and entertaining biography you'll ever read.
Parish, the ubiquitous author of many a film-genre work (e.g., Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops), has compiled a serviceable popular biography of comic genius Mel Brooks. Although readers get the gist of the entertainer's life story, Parish depends too heavily on quotes from secondary sources to make up for the lack of original interview material and unevenly distributes the content, overemphasizing Brooks's quick-tempered mentor, Sid Caesar, and rushing through the highlights of the past 20 years of this seriously funny entertainer. Additionally, Parish tries too hard to psychoanalyze the complicated ego of a very private individual. However, his attention to the mutual devotion between Brooks and his late wife, the actress Anne Bancroft, is well paid and right on target. Brooks, the unquenchable, self-driven risk taker who made a lifetime metamorphosis from Catskills tummler to television writer/film director/Broadway producer, begs for a more scholarly treatment in print. This biography is good for satisfying the curiosities of new and old fans who've seen the smash revival of The Producers, but not much else. For larger public libraries only.
Richard A. Dickey
- Turner Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.72(d)
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Meet the Author
James Robert Parish, a former entertainment reporter, is the author of numerous books on the entertainment industry, including Fiasco: A History of Hollywood's Iconic Flops, the Hollywood book of Breakups, and the Hollywood Book of Extravagance: The totally Infamous, Mostly Disastrous, and Always Compelling Excesses of American's Film and TV Idols.
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