“Mel Brooks Begins”

You can see Mel Brooks collecting his Kennedy Center Honor from the president on television Tuesday night, but only right here on the Internet can you see the first ever film by one of the funniest men in movie history.

In this 1963 Oscar winning animated short subject, a cantankerous old Jewish man (voiced by Brooks, of course) watches an abstract/experimental short in the style of Canada’s Norman McLaren. It’s called, “The Critic.”

Brooks wrote this, of course, but the actual director and producer who handled the animation was Ernest Pintoff. Nevertheless, I think we can agree that it’s really Mel’s movie.

Just for fun, just a few years later, Mel shows off his mimicry skills to chat-show host Dick Cavett and then-celebrity critic Rex Reed. This clip gets gradually funnier as it goes, and the Frank Sinatra bit is kind of a gas.

  

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