Comedy fans will find the documentary Mel Brooks: Make a Noise irresistible. Part of the upcoming American Masters series on PBS, Noise is more than just a retrospective of Brooks' career. He gives new interviews to filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg, as do many of his cohorts including frequent partner Carl Reiner, Nathan Lane and Joan Rivers, Rob Reiner, Cloris Leachman and Barry Levinson. Each of them sit at a simple table, nothing much in the way of a set around them, looking straight into the camera and recalling highlights (and insider jokes) about Brooks' career. There are, of course, some film clips: Young Frankenstein, The Producers and Blazing Saddles among them. Interviews with the late Anne Bancroft (the second Mrs. Brooks) and Madeline Kahn, two of his favorite collaborators, round out the portrait we see of Brooks.
Brooks plays down his own talent, insisting he got some lucky breaks but never tried to engineer his success. He says he played to an audience of one: "I've got to admit something, I don't really do anything for the audience ever. I do it for me, and most of the time the audience joins me." We've been among the many happy fans to have joined him on what's been one of comedy's most prolific and influential careers.More »