"Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy – and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king. He’s a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves, and it is AFI’s honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting [this award].”
Actor, writer, director, composer and producer Brooks is one of fourteen people who have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. Among his most beloved films are "The Producers" (1968), "Blazing Saddles" (1974) -- all three of which are on AFI's 100 Years, 100 Laughs List--plus "Young Frankenstein" (1974), "High Anxiety" (1977) and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" (1993).
Last year's recipient of this award was Shirley MacLaine. Here is our recap of that tribute event.
More on Brooks below:
Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Tony®, Emmy®, Grammy® and Oscar®. His career began in television writing for YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS and together with Buck Henry creating the long running TV series GET SMART. He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy®-winning “2000 Year Old Man” comedy albums and books. Brooks won his first Oscar® in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short THE CRITIC and his second for the screenplay of his first feature film THE PRODUCERS in 1968. Many hit comedy films followed including THE TWELVE CHAIRS, BLAZING SADDLES, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, SILENT MOVIE, HIGH ANXIETY, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART I, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, SPACEBALLS, LIFE STINKS, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT. His film company, Brooksfilms Limited, also produced critically acclaimed films such as THE ELEPHANT MAN, THE FLY, FRANCES, MY FAVORITE YEAR and 84 CHARRING CROSS ROAD. For three successive seasons, 1997-1999, Mel Brooks won Emmy Awards® for his role as “Uncle Phil” on the hit sitcom MAD ABOUT YOU. Brooks received three 2001 Tony Awards® and two Grammy Awards® for “The Producers: the New Mel Brooks Musical,” which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2006. He followed that success with “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein,” which ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009 and both musicals continue to be performed and enjoyed by audiences all over the world. In 2009 Mel Brooks also received The Kennedy Center Honors, recognizing a lifetime of extraordinary contributions to American culture. His most recent projects include the Emmy®-nominated HBO comedy special MEL BROOKS AND DICK CAVETT TOGETHER AGAIN and a career retrospective DVD box set available this fall titled “The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection Of Unhinged Comedy.”