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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Mel Brooks Receives AFI Lifetime Achievement Award on TCM

The actual ceremony honoring the legendary comic genius was held earlier this summer. But, the broadcast of the event will air tonight on TCM, the classic movie channel, followed by several of Brooks’ most popular films as actor and director.

Wednesday, July 24 Turner Classic Movies will be devoting its entire evening lineup to one of the funniest men Hollywood (or Broadway) has ever known - Mel Brooks. The lineup is centered around an airing of the comedian’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, which will be followed by a collection of the comic genius’ classic films and television interviews.

The AFI ceremony itself is full of special guests lauding the accomplishments of a man they greatly admire. The eclectic list of notable luminaries include many who have worked side by side with Brooks such as Cloris Leachman (High Anxiety), and Martin Short (the LA production of The Producers), as well as ardent admires such as Marin Scorsese, Conan O’Brien, Billy Crystal, Sarah Silverman, Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Robert De Niro just to name a few. No doubt the evening will be filled with heartfelt tributes, but you also know that great fun will be had at the honoree’s expense. After all, this is Mel Brooks. And as funny as the man is he loves a good joke, especially when it’s about him. You just know that guest after guest will be trying to out do each other with pot shots and backhanded compliments. So, don’t be surprised if this AFI ceremony resembles more of a roast than anything else, and you can bet Brooks wouldn’t want it any other way.

So, whether you’re a fan of Brooks or unfamiliar with his unique style of humor, you’re in for a great night of the best the maestro’s has to offer. The films to be aired are The Twelve Chairs, Young Frankenstein and one of my favorite films, the 1967 version of The Producers. The TV interviews include Brooks’ hilarious Tonight Show appearance with Johnny Carson and his equally outrageous guest appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. All in all, TCM has planned an impressive evening of comedy fit for any fan of the genre. I know I’m already quoting my favorite lines and can’t wait to hear them again from the source that has inspired so many people who have gone on to make others laugh.

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