From the groundbreaking TV series “Your Show of Shows” to landmark films like “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks has been one of the most influential voices in comedy. Now, this entertainment legend looks back on his remarkable career in MEL BROOKS UNWRAPPED, debuting FRIDAY, DEC. 13 (9:00–10:10 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms.
The HBO comedy special features award-winning actor, writer, producer and director Mel Brooks in interviews past and present with Alan Yentob, former creative director for the BBC. Since 1981, Yentob has filmed the inimitable Brooks for a number of candid conversations and mock interviews, many of which showcase a more reserved Alan as “straight man” to Mel’s high-energy, quick-witted, unsparingly sarcastic persona. Combining Yentob’s archival material with present-day interviews and verité footage of the now 93-year-old Brooks, the special is filled with the venerated comedian’s hilarious anecdotes about his life and illustrious career.
MEL BROOKS UNWRAPPED also shows Yentob following Brooks in his day-to-day life, including a visit with long-time friend and collaborator Carl Reiner — who dubs Mel “the funniest human being in the world” — to share some spaghetti and meatballs and watch some iconic clips from Brooks’ 60-plus years in showbiz.
The special marks Mel Brooks’ fourth appearance on HBO in recent years, following 2011’s “Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again,” 2012’s “Mel Brooks Strikes Back!” and 2014’s “Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen,” all of which have been nominated for Emmy® awards.
To celebrate the new special, “Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen” and “Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again’ will return on HBO GO and HBO NOW for viewers.
Among Brooks’ other classic comedy films as director, writer, producer and/or actor are “History of the World Part 1,” “Silent Movie,” “Spaceballs” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” “Blazing Saddles,” “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein” all appear on the AFI’s list of Funniest American Films. He also produced the Oscar®-nominated drama “The Elephant Man,” as well as “My Favorite Year” and “The Fly,” among other Brooksfilms movies, and co-created, with Buck Henry, the hit TV series “Get Smart.”
Mel Brooks is one of the few artists who have earned “EGOT” status, winning an Oscar (Best Writing for “The Producers”), a Grammy (Best Spoken Comedy Album for “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000,” Best Musical Show Album for “The Producers” and Best Long Form Music Video for “Recording the Producers — A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks”), an Emmy® (Outstanding Writing Achievement for a Sid Caesar special and three consecutive awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for “Mad About You”) and a Tony (Best Musical, Best Original Musical Score and Best Book of a Musical for “The Producers”).
MEL BROOKS UNWRAPPED is a Brooksfilms Production; produced and directed by Alan Yentob; executive produced by Mel Brooks; co-produced for the BBC by Tanya Hudson; coproduced by Kevin Salter, Shelby Van Vliet.