Gene Wilder

Loud and lively at 90, Mel Brooks talks about Gene Wilder, political correctness and his classic movies

Loud and lively at 90, Mel Brooks talks about Gene Wilder, political correctness and his classic movies

“If you’re quiet, you’re not living,” Mel Brooks once said. “You’ve got to be colorful and loud and lively.”

As a writer, director and performer, Brooks — the man behind such classic comedies as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” and “Young Frankenstein” — has been all of that and then some, and, at age 90, his riffing skills are as sharp as ever. “I like ad libbing,” he said on a recent afternoon. “Just give me the premise and get out of the way.” 

With a career that stretches back to the earliest days of television, Brooks...

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