It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks

It's Good to Be the King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks

by James Robert Parish
     
 

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"I always learn something fr5om every juicy, well-researched, and information-packed volume of Parish's studies of Holly wood." - Rex Reed, columinst the New York Observer

"Brooks's probing self-insights and clever quotes abound... Readers will be satisfied with the details unearthed by Parish's exhaustive research." - Publishers Weekly

Fresh, funny,

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Overview

"I always learn something fr5om every juicy, well-researched, and information-packed volume of Parish's studies of Holly wood." - Rex Reed, columinst the New York Observer

"Brooks's probing self-insights and clever quotes abound... Readers will be satisfied with the details unearthed by Parish's exhaustive research." - Publishers Weekly

Fresh, funny, and insightful, It's Good to Be the King traces the extraordinary life and wide-ranging career of Mel Brooks, who has ridden a wave of show business success perhaps unsurpassed by anyone of his generation. From the Golden Age of Television to dazzling film comedy classics such as Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein to the Broadway triumph of The Producer,s Brooks's unique brand of slapstick, satire, and just plain silliness has withstood the test of time.

Offering many stories from the wacky world of Brooks and his colorful collaborators,a s well as an intimate look into Mel's seemingly improbable, yet highly 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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.
Library Journal

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470225264
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
02/26/2008
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
708,346
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.72(d)

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