A Look at Mel Brooks’ Most Popular Films and their Historical Contexts


In the mid-s to late s, two categories of comedy films emerged: feature-length films and rapid-fire collections of sketches. Well-crafted and often highly regarded, the first category boasted such titles as Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” (), “Young Frankenstein” (), “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” (), as well as the beloved Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker creations, “Airplane!” (and “The Naked Gun” ().

In , Mel Brooks released the movie “Young Frankenstein” and then in came his “History of the World, Part I”. This piece of art covered concepts such as the Stone Age, the Old Testament, and the Roman empire, ending with a fake teaser-trailer for “History of the World, Part II”, which was never realized until now. The eight-part Hulu series “History of the World, Part II” follows suit with the tone of its predecessor, providing an irreverent approach to historical events through comedy with jokes spanning from vaudeville-level corniness to modern references, including those from previous movies by Mel Brooks himself. Additionally, there are classic routines scattered throughout.

Frequently thought to be entertaining in comparison to the frequent succession of jesting on social media, this production is a hit-and-miss affair. Whilst some components may miss the mark and become tiresome, there are a number of knowing grins to be had as well as some hearty laughs. Occasionally, the pastiche is so accurate that it can be viewed more as an admiration rather than a satire, such as when five characters from the “Russian Revolution” storyline sing a tune manifesting their aspirations, which mirrors precisely the kind of musical bridge often found at the conclusion of Act in a Broadway show before the intermission.

At the commencement of the series, Mel Brooks, an esteemed American resource, stated, “Hello! I’m an American treasure Mel Brooks. To some, I’m a hero; to others, merely a legend.” Mr. Brooks serves as Executive Producer and host, accompanied by talented comedic stars such as Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz and Kumail Nanjiani, J.B. Smoove, Quinta Brunson, Pamela Adlon, Danny DeVito, Zazie Beetz, Jay Ellis and Seth Rogen. Furthermore, Black’s Stalin, who desires to be acknowledged eventually, is invaluable. This is only the beginning of the list.

A review of the production values for this series of sketches about the first Black congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm (Sykes), pays homage to s popular sitcoms such as “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons”. Additionally, a spot-on parody of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” titled “Curb Your Judaism” features Kroll as Judas, with various “Curb” regulars playing different characters from Larry David’s show. Dove Cameron also provides laughs in her role as Anastasia, a self-centered social media influencer who delivers monologues via camera.

Greetings, it is I, Princess Anastasia. It seems as though many of you have been demotivated and struggling financially, so I wanted to lend a hand with a tutorial on how to properly contour your cheeks. Additionally, in the spirit of popular music from the past, I have composed a humorous satire of The Beatles’ “Get Back” song that is set during our current era, alluding to current streaming services such as Hulu.

The moral

In conclusion, the production values of this series of sketches about Shirley Chisholm (Sykes) accurately pay homage to classic sitcoms like “Good Times” and “The Jeffersons”. Moreover, the parody of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” titled “Curb Your Judaism” was an extremely witty and clever homage to Larry David’s show, featuring spot-on performances by Nick Kroll as Judas and other members of the original “Curb” cast. Additionally, the character of Anastasia, played by Dove Cameron, was a hilarious addition to the show as well.


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