Mel Brooks stopped by The Tonight Show on Tuesday to promote his special show at Radio City Music Hall, but the highlight of his interview was when he talked a bit about Gene Wilder. Fallon turned the conversation toward Wilder and the upcoming book about the making of Young Frankenstein, asking the showbusiness legend to talk about his first meeting with the star. He was not disappointed.
Brooks goes on to talk about meeting Wilder when the latter starred in a play with Anne Bancroft, lamenting that the crowd was laughing at him in a more serious role. Brooks tells him to look in a mirror and “blame it on God,” kicking off one of the top comedic partnerships in entertainment history. From there he talks about the struggle to bring The Producers to the screen, and Wilder’s tears once the project made it off the ground, and moves on to chat about Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.
Just the way he describes the process behind writing and casting the film, it sounds like an amazing time. There were surely embellishments throughout, but you can see why a stage conversation with Brooks would sell out. The man can tell a story.
Brooks’ look back on Wilder is definitely worth a watch, even if you’re not a fan of Jimmy Fallon’s style of interview. The charisma is hard to derail. Also as a bonus, you can check out Gene Wilder’s memories on the first meeting:
(Via The Tonight Show)