mel brooks
the producers
blazing saddles
lindsay ellis

Mel Brooks, The Producers and the Ethics of Satire about N@zis

2/06/2017
दृश्य 1 222 609
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You're not Mel Brooks.

Twitter: @thelindsayellis
Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/lindsayellis

Sources:
1. Kael, Pauline. “Onward and Upward with the Arts: Bonnie and Clyde” The New Yorker. 21 October, 1967. Print.
2. Rau, Petra. Our Nazis: representations of fascism in contemporary literature and film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U Press, 2013. Print.
3. Gross, Andrew S., and Susanne Rohr. Comedy--Avant-Garde--Scandal: Remembering the Holocaust after the End of History. Vol. 183. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag WINTER, 2010. Print.
4. Online, Spiegel. "SPIEGEL Interview with Mel Brooks: “With Comedy, We Can Rob Hitler of his Posthumous Power?” SPIEGEL ONLINE, 16 Mar. 2006. Web.
5. Insdorf, Annette. Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Print.
6. Gonshak, Henry. Hollywood and the Holocaust. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.
7. Reimer, Robert C. "Does Laughter Make the Crime Disappear?: An Analysis of Cinematic Images of Hitler and the Nazis, 1940-2007." Senses of Cinema 52 (2009). Web.
8. Cole, Robert. "Anglo-American anti-fascist film propaganda in a time of neutrality: The Great Dictator, 1940." Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 21.2 (2001): 137-152. Print.
9. Rau, Petra. Our Nazis: Representations of Fascism in Contemporary Literature and Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2013. Print.
10. Variety Staff. "Politician Jason Kander Puts Down ‘Alt-Right’ Leader Richard Spencer Over ‘Cabaret’ Tweet." Variety. Variety Magazine, 21 Mar. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017. Web.
11. Packer, Sharon, Jody W. Pennington, and Aaron Barlow. A History of Evil in Popular Culture: What Hannibal Lecter, Stephen King, and Vampires Reveal about America. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, an Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2014. Print.
12. Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Projections of War: Hollywood, American Culture, and World War II. New York: Columbia UP, 2005. Print.
13. Symonds, Alex. “An Audience for Mel Brookss The Producers: the Avant-garde of the Masses”, Journal of Popular Film and Television 34/1: 24-32. 2006. Print.
14. Gubar, Susan. “Racial Camp in the Producers and Bamboozled.” Film Quarterly 60/2: 26-37. 2006. Print.
15. "Darryl Strawberry/Mel Brooks on Broadway/Stolen Lives." 60 Minutes. CBS. New York, New York, 15 Apr. 2001. Television.

Lindsay Ellis
Lindsay Ellis
टिप्पणियाँ
  • killercanadian01

    killercanadian01

    15 घंटे पहले

    I thought The original Mel Brooks comedy was good. The one with Xero and Gene Wilder.

  • Miyu Sawai

    Miyu Sawai

    20 घंटे पहले

    Lindsey, all I want to ask you is IF you might be at Raleigh GalaxyCon next year

  • Penzija Mirovinić

    Penzija Mirovinić

    दिन पहले

    Please go and see "allo allo" series for best of british facist satire (also see "heil honey i'm home" for opposite)

  • Lilith Spookypants

    Lilith Spookypants

    दिन पहले

    I love history of the world, totally underrated

  • Miyu Sawai

    Miyu Sawai

    दिन पहले

    Lindsey, can I ask you a question?

    • moonglow

      moonglow

      दिन पहले

      no

  • Colt Martin

    Colt Martin

    दिन पहले

    *quitleing humming not so bad*

  • Bioniking

    Bioniking

    2 दिन पहले

    Gene Wilder in "The Producers" predicted the millennial.

  • Colton Ruscheinsky

    Colton Ruscheinsky

    2 दिन पहले

    This channel is amazing! My God!!!

  • MarioGMan25

    MarioGMan25

    3 दिन पहले

    Now I wonder what your thoughts on Jojo Rabbit is, considering Taika Waititi is almost on a similar vein with Mel Brooks now that I think about it...

  • Damien Stone

    Damien Stone

    3 दिन पहले

    When you claim something has been adopted by, “white supremacists” you should explain how you know that. Is this a group you personally keep tabs on? How?

    • Ava Levesque

      Ava Levesque

      दिन पहले

      Social media, dude. You can pretty easily tell what symbols they've adopted by looking at their pages, watching rallies, and looking up group meetings. They're not exactly a quiet bunch.

  • jestbrain e

    jestbrain e

    3 दिन पहले

    O

  • Thomas Palazzolo

    Thomas Palazzolo

    3 दिन पहले

    Saddest thing about The Great Dictator is at the beginning of production Chaplin didn't know the full extent of what was happening but he knew it was bad. But during the course of production he DID learn what was happening, and you can feel that as the film moves into the second and third acts that real life is gruesomely invading the world of the Little Tramp. I don't think a single scene in a film has ever made me so simultaneously heartbroken and hopeful as the barber's speech.

  • Thomas Palazzolo

    Thomas Palazzolo

    3 दिन पहले

    Good God this just made me realize Men in Tights uses the music from Jews in Space.

  • Stacey Solano

    Stacey Solano

    4 दिन पहले

    Just found this channel. Excellent analyses. Subbed.

  • Raymond Bingham

    Raymond Bingham

    4 दिन पहले

    Many excellent points. My favorite part is when Lindsey shows how neo-nazis love the movies/media/songs intended to demonstrate how bad that life is/was, but none of them are singing "Springtime for Hitler".

  • Shelvs HOTpencil

    Shelvs HOTpencil

    4 दिन पहले

    Meh

    • Shelvs HOTpencil

      Shelvs HOTpencil

      4 दिन पहले

      No matter what, if a joke is funny I am going to laugh. But it better be F***ing funny!! I don’t think there is a defined line to not cross. And jokes can mildly offend me. But I just laugh at myself or (if it really hit home ) tell the comedian to go F himself with a smile on my face. I am not going to demand apology from them, nor make them responsible for PEOPLE BEING PEOPLE. (Banality of evil) and (bias). I understand your criticism, but personally do think that every group of people can be ridicule.

  • Miles Jackson

    Miles Jackson

    5 दिन पहले

    Mel Brooks is Jewish?!

  • KLN

    KLN

    5 दिन पहले

    Thanks Lindsay for blasting the volume on that Neo Nazi rally for all my roomies to hear lmao

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    yo white supremacist guy who gave you the inheritance. I mean I'm jewish and I don't own other jewish peeps stuff after they die. And what do you even mean by crusader lol having less pigment doesn't make you more likely to take over a nation, nor have you met the vast majority of non-white people. Humans make patterns from coincidence all the time

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    Trump also faked a weather map that had at that point been changed due to info from weather tech, and lied about a New York Times OP Ed apology to him that never hapened. And praised dictatorship

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    And people don't check sources, so when Trump says he increases jobs despite job growth being up and him inheriting a healthy economy, people believe it.

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    Dont forget many political "beliefs" are only conjured to give people something to vote them for, like what happened with Trump being "new" that people are just now being sensitized to.

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    John Oliver himself did a piece on Boris Johnson and his facade (like trying to close legislation, he failed, so noone could vote against no-deal, bad-for-economy brexit)

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    He *lied* about EU banning cocktail crisps, and about Britain sending a shit-ton of money to the EU (latter written on a bus.) Likely to cover up search results, he told a "quirky" story about drawing buses for fun

  • Mule The Donkey

    Mule The Donkey

    7 दिन पहले

    30 Rock predicted Boris Johnson, he messes up his hair on purpose, deflects questions with tea, etc.

  • ssskynet

    ssskynet

    7 दिन पहले

    Shes the best

  • ferociousgumby

    ferociousgumby

    8 दिन पहले

    Hey wait, there is ONLY ONE MOVIE VERSION of The Producers, and it is called THE PRODUCERS.

  • Ash Ton

    Ash Ton

    8 दिन पहले

    I've recently fallen in love with your mind.

  • FabulousResults

    FabulousResults

    8 दिन पहले

    Hey! I like the 2005 Producers, it has charm!

  • rebekah prather

    rebekah prather

    8 दिन पहले

    Ahhhh I’m obsessed with Malcolm Gladwell and I’m so glad to see you talk about his podcasts :)

  • wvu05

    wvu05

    8 दिन पहले

    In life, it seems like Mel Brooks is used the same way George Carlin has been in death: justifying bad comedy by bad faith actors. It shouldn't have happened to either.

  • Abril Gómez

    Abril Gómez

    8 दिन पहले

    I love this video. And I wish you would mentioned the movie "Hittler is back"

  • Layeyes

    Layeyes

    8 दिन पहले

    i love puppet life

  • Max Halle-Podell

    Max Halle-Podell

    9 दिन पहले

    Life is beautiful is awful ngl

  • Daniel Black

    Daniel Black

    9 दिन पहले

    Strange you didn’t bring up Brecht at all

  • Thor Eau

    Thor Eau

    10 दिन पहले

    Your reviews are thoughtful, but how woke are you?

  • Oan R.

    Oan R.

    10 दिन पहले

    This needs to be revisited. JoJo Rabbit is coming out soon.

  • aypierre

    aypierre

    10 दिन पहले

    Would you expand on your reaction to Life is Beautiful at some point?

  • Vorael

    Vorael

    10 दिन पहले

    26:44 I was not expecting to see the Killing Floor theme song in a video like this.

  • Speedy Sphincter

    Speedy Sphincter

    11 दिन पहले

    I hope freedom of speech stays forever. So don't say "law of the land for now." Discourse and conversation is what makes people step away from the ledge that is extremism.

    • Ava Levesque

      Ava Levesque

      दिन पहले

      Freedom of speech doesn't play into this conversation at all. It's a discussion about the lines in comedy on a social level, not government punishment.

  • Paula Stiles

    Paula Stiles

    11 दिन पहले

    The quickest and most accurate explanation I ever heard for why Mel Brooks' edgy satire worked so well is that he always punched up, never down.

    He also had some great collaborators, like Richard Pryor on Blazing Saddles and Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, when it came to writers. And some great comediennes who didn't get such great material elsewhere.

  • aaron tasha

    aaron tasha

    11 दिन पहले

    "everything is funny, or nothing is" it is sad that the youngns of today dont know comedy and cry about everything. that is until they leave school, the social media/internet and find out the real world dont care about feelings. folks need to unplug and not be like the schoolmarm from days of old. enjoy, laugh and make people genuinely happy. its not hard. cheers

  • Mr. W

    Mr. W

    11 दिन पहले

    2:02 So true. I never saw the movie or the stage show (closest I saw was the PBS making of documentary for the Broadway show), but having been to enough theatrical productions, I can easily imagine this "stage right" joke getting a ton of laughs where the movie "camera right" version just seems mislaced and unfunny. There's always a comedic tension with breaking the fourth wall onstage. You go in as an audience member kind of hoping for it and when it lands it's aces.

  • The Sparkle Zone

    The Sparkle Zone

    11 दिन पहले

    Frequently disagree with you, but these videos and arguments are always well reasoned and thought out.

  • Raul Garcia

    Raul Garcia

    11 दिन पहले

    One quick note is that satire is not inherently comedic. Watchmen or The Stand are excellent satires that are very rarely funny.

  • Hellion Shark

    Hellion Shark

    11 दिन पहले

    These kinds of controversy had always met pushback, before and today. A joke at the expense of Hitler was always taken as mocking the holocaust. Comedy, much as Philosophy only finds it's real place through the lens of history. As for the statement - Yeah, people can get over anything - and if you read Man's search for meaning humor was a big thing in the camps - but the fact that we can get over anything doesn't mean we should. And it's definitely not what the movie saysin my opinion. Notice tho, how Brooks is criticizing the guys work, not his character.
    Cancel culture really isn't the answer, becasue it makes light of the subjects that it claims should be taken seriously much more than bad comedy does. It is trying to Disregard the person's intent and put in what they find their intent to be, instead of taking it for what it is, we no longer criticize the work of people we criticize a personality - or rather what we made out this personality to be. If everyone is a nazi, no one is a nazi, real assholes can hide behind Ethan Klain (a liberal jew) being called a nazi for talking with Peterson, who also isn't a nazi. Or behind Rammstein being called nazis casue they are edgelords who sing in german. Just becasue neo-nazis like something that does not change its content, these movies are still anti-fascist no matter how neo-nazis would like to use the visuals of them. For the first time, I think it matters more who you are than what you do, we are too involved in the personal matters of entertainers, and more so their political views. Liberals fight with other liberals to prove who is more liberal. I find it ridiculous.
    Making a film, regardless of if it's a comedy or not, about a subject like that is really ticky. We have to use critical thinking, and accept that bias will always be a part of us. Just becasue Neonazis claim something as their own, doesn't make it so, And just becasue actual racist propaganda can pass as comedy, doesn't make it a comedy. But who decides what's propaganda and what's a joke - only the person making them know the intent behind it.
    supremacists love to be taken seriously, so mocking them Is fine in my book - that doesn't mean you can make a shit joke and not get it criticized. I'm just saying criticize the act itself, but don't try and fit a person's character into your criticism. You cannot argue that intent doesn't matter about an anti-fascist movie when it ends up used as propaganda by the fascists. and that it's all that matters when it's an obvious case of a joke flopping.

  • Gazing Pete

    Gazing Pete

    12 दिन पहले

    I think this is all a little too concerned with what an audience takes away from a piece of art. If a creator is that concerned with what somebody believes after viewing their work, couldn't it be defined as propaganda? I thought art is simply a means of communicating thoughts and feelings in a way that can be experienced vicariously. If the reaction to that experience is contrary to the artist's intent, it means that people aren't as easy to manipulate as the artist thought... Which is probably a good thing.

  • Sebakisnie Sebakisnie

    Sebakisnie Sebakisnie

    12 दिन पहले

    I wonder. If american society has such a complex relationship with nazi portrayal and holocaust, how does it look for the people of the countries who took it all first-hand? Like Poland or even Germany itself? Most of people in the world are shocked at just how easily something of this scale could happen, how must it feel to have an ancestor who was in the SS, or even really just the gray man really following orders? Or being a jewish kid rescued and sent to a different family, with no idea of their family members' fate?

  • lugialover09

    lugialover09

    12 दिन पहले

    Brooks' To Be Or Not To Be was disliked? Aw man, I never knew. I personally found it hilarious. Granted, I haven't seen the original.

  • garfreeek

    garfreeek

    12 दिन पहले

    I think Trump got away with so much because he we've been mocking him for years. The man shouldn't be taken as a threat etc. His wrongdoings always seem kind of comedic in a way.
    Of course the people that vote for him wished those things were true. So the more we mocked his policies, the more it got spread. Best example is "epic rap battles of history" that stands to mock both Trump and Hillary. And while the makers are definitely anti-Trump, they accidentally made him look like the bigger badass!

  • garfreeek

    garfreeek

    12 दिन पहले

    This movie was the first to let me know that other minorities were also hunted down.
    I didn't know about gay's being hunted untill this movie.

  • Diego Uy

    Diego Uy

    13 दिन पहले

    I liked Life Is Beautiful. I mean, they did make light of the holocaust in certain ways, but it is a tragedy. The father's comedy came at a cost, and I really think one of my favorite things about the movie - is the theme concerning fatherhood, and the sacrifices you have to make for the well-being and/or quality of life for your son/daughter.

  • Andreas Egeland

    Andreas Egeland

    13 दिन पहले

    The introduction to what I suppose is the cons part of this pro-con evaluation of satire about Nazis does not seem to justify the position you then hold.
    Is "satisfying satire" the criterion for whether or not something succeeds as mockery?
    Further on, the connection is explicitly made with Nazis enjoying material specifically designed to critique Nazism, which seems unsurprising to me, given the realistic dearth of pro-Nazi content. Of course they enjoy the imagery, it's the only way they can enjoy their own imagery in cinema. If I were to criticise a neo-Nazi for being anti-Semitic, they would proudly proclaim that they are. The fact that these nutjobs do not make the connection of how evil their beliefs are should not deter us from making a mockery of them.
    This kind of leads back to a point you made moments before this, namely how Loadsa Money and suchlike only appealed as intended by an audience that already believed what the creator did. This is a double-edged sword; on the one hand, if satire is unable to alter beliefs then it would be a mistake to assume they are capable of creating a positive image of Nazism to anyone but Nazis. On the other hand, I would argue that satire doesn't necessarily have to change someone's mind right there and then for it to be effective. That's just not how people work; even if you have a debate where you perfectly reason without ever devolving into sophistry, chances are people will still need to sleep on it. The sum of comedic and direct argumentation should not be discounted as ineffective simply due to anecdotes about confirmation bias as a reaction to satire.
    It all seems to build to what is the major disagreement I have, namely is making good satire necessary for making ethical satire?
    No, surely it cannot be so. It cannot be necessary to be skilled at making satire before it becomes morally acceptable to do so. I have it on good authority that skill comes from practice, not some genetic or divine gift, not some random accident but the result of trying again and again. If it is morally objectionable to make bad satire then it is clear that it is morally objectionable to learn how to make satire.
    It's easy to say that what was needed was clearer lines, or better ways of determining what was or was not okay to joke about, but I think this overlooks how much this skill is a part in doing precisely these things. The criticisms of this video, nominally the ethics about satire about Nazis, is more appropriately described as the aesthetics about satire about Nazi.

    *TL;DR* I know it's not a big distinction (even though I spent tons of words on it), but it is worse to be a bad person than a bad comedian.

  • TheName IsRED

    TheName IsRED

    13 दिन पहले

    why does Christophe Waltz have to be so charming?

  • jamb

    jamb

    13 दिन पहले

    Blazing saddles is the greatest comedy ever made!!

  • Zed The Fat One

    Zed The Fat One

    14 दिन पहले

    >reads description
    yeah, that's the gust of it.

  • Full Of Fallacies

    Full Of Fallacies

    14 दिन पहले

    So, I gave this video a thumbs up, however I disagree with the ending premise and the final point made. First, the reason(s) I gave it a thumbs up was for a great delivery, logical and well defined narrative and arguments, but ESPECIALLY for not following the example of so many others these days by attacking those who hols differing or opposing views, as if the ad-hominem attacks were counterpoints in themselves...

    The bottom line is: If people laugh, the joke is funny - even if you didn't laugh - but ESPECIALLY if you are being offended on another person, or group's, behalf -- that is the same as saying you know, or are personally, better than them, and know better about what they [should] find offensive or not. They are fully capable of speaking out themselves, and announcing your opinion is what is best for one particular group or another, is belittling and degrading to that group...

    • Vixx Celacea

      Vixx Celacea

      13 दिन पहले

      That's kinda the entire point though. The fact that some people could see it as such, even those who would think that's horrible missed the intent. The line is blurry, even to people who would otherwise be on your side. Misinterpretation is a serious issue in this world. Being clear and concise as possible is very important, because people aren't actually stupid. They just might not be coming from the same angle.

  • Jannis Opel

    Jannis Opel

    14 दिन पहले

    You don't know how right you are. My grandfather was lieutenant in WW2 (26 years old 1945, German side) and came out of the war with serious illnesses. His bullet wounds healed but he had severe panic attacks and claustrophobia. He could never watch movies like American History X. He would panic even knowing the Nazi would never have a happy ending. Despite that he told me The Producers and other Nazi parodies helped him cope with his fears. I can't even imagine how it is to grow up in a dictatorship that uses fear to produce immense amounts of social pressure. All his family members died in the war. Parents and siblings. After the war he was completely alone, he met my grandmother a few years after. I never understood why he would like goofy Nazi plays but now I understand that he had a black block of fear in his mind that he didn't dare to think of and that those parodies helped softening that somehow. Maybe showed that that the Nazis are really gone because art like this was possible and not censored or it took power from the Nazis in his memory. Sadly he died in 2006 but his wife is still alive and I visit her every Friday. Over the years we talked a lot about his and her memories of that time period. (She is 87 now) The tragic story doesn't end with the war. They live in the Communist side of Germany until they got robbed of all their goods by the government in '59 and fled to the other side. Really puts in perspective how easy my life is in comparison.

  • Koana

    Koana

    14 दिन पहले

    Goddamn this video is good

  • Angry Robot

    Angry Robot

    15 दिन पहले

    “All comedy must have limits and intent”
    I wish all the idiots on Twitter claiming comedy is dead because of “woke culture” would get this little tidbit. They think offensive jokes for the sake of offending ANYONE for no reason is somehow the holy grail of comedy.

    • what's it to ya!?

      what's it to ya!?

      5 दिन पहले

      @Arinze Ihezue Pray tell, how so?

    • Arinze Ihezue

      Arinze Ihezue

      13 दिन पहले

      If that were the full argument that you'd be absolutely right but like everything in life it's more nuanced than that.

  • PJM CPTM

    PJM CPTM

    15 दिन पहले

    I'm in love with you

  • Angus Roth

    Angus Roth

    15 दिन पहले

    For the Inquisition bit from “History of the World Pt 1” the horrifying fact was there were no Jews left in Spain at the time. Most who were persecuted were recently converted “Conversos” or the children of Conversos. *internet snob leaves lol*

  • Kaydee Greene

    Kaydee Greene

    16 दिन पहले

    He was able to make his own representation in mainstream film. So that pretty cool, not many others were doing that at the time.

  • germnbill

    germnbill

    16 दिन पहले

    I love your content Lindsay. You are smart and poignant in your observations and reads of the arts and their texts and subtexts. I have watched a bunch of your video essays and also find them really entertaining, funny, as well as nicely edited. I studied cultural and media science for a while at university, which makes me relate to almost all your ideas and conclusions. Keep up the good work and thanks for your input.

  • Lauren Federico

    Lauren Federico

    16 दिन पहले

    "Comedy is the quickest to age and the most likely to age poorly." Genius.

    • August West

      August West

      10 दिन पहले

      It's not though. She didn't come up with it either. I'm sure she'd be the first to tell you that. Its fairly insightful but it's certainly not genius. That's just hyperbole.

  • mcslovenc

    mcslovenc

    16 दिन पहले

    You know... there's not a lot of almost an hour long Youtube videos that are worth watching. Yours definitely is, it's the first one I watched by you, I know its 2 years since this one came out but still, keep up the brilliant work!

  • Cruye

    Cruye

    18 दिन पहले

    10:07 that's... the first time I've ever heard Chaplin speak. Huh.

    • Bfdidc

      Bfdidc

      14 दिन पहले

      That's the first time most people heard Chaplin talk, as it was his first movie with spoken words.

  • TheOmegajuice

    TheOmegajuice

    21 दिन पहले

    People comparing their own crap offensive jokes to Mel Brooks is a bit like when pseudo-scientists compare themselves to Galileo.
    Galileo wasn't great BECAUSE his views were rejected... he was great because his views were correct.
    And Mel Brooks isn't great BECAUSE his comedy was offensive... he is great because he's really fucking funny!

  • TheNeonRabbit

    TheNeonRabbit

    21 दिन पहले

    "Cartmanization"

  • Chantel Carter

    Chantel Carter

    21 दिन पहले

    I don't care how great The Producers musical is. It doesn't have LSD from the original movie and therefore it is inferior.