Five Eyebrow-Arching Credits on Mel Brooks’ Résumé
At the risk of being even more lovable, Mel Brooks has finally made good on a promise he made to audiences 42 years ago by producing the sequel series History of the World, Part II, which, oddly, seems to cover some of the same time periods that History of the World, Part I did. Whatever, just give us “Jews in Space,” and we’ll be happy. It’s not always good to be the king.
Looking back at his long career, Brooks has a wildly eclectic filmography, with some surprising movies under his belt. You might be aware that Brooks produced David Lynch’s The Elephant Man and David Cronenberg’s The Fly, and of course, cameoed in a low-budget Swedish Die Hard parody, but we found some other truly bizarre Brooks credits, too, such as…
‘Look Who’s Talking Too’
When the filmmakers behind Look Who’s Talking Too needed someone to voice a talking, fanged, nightmare toilet, they naturally turned to comedy legend Mel Brooks. His iconic voice can be heard uttering the not-so-iconic line: “The next time you sit on me, I’m gonna bite off your tushy.”
One of the less fondly remembered movies that Brooks executive-produced, The Vagrant is a deranged horror-comedy starring Bill Paxton as a homeowner who’s terrorized by an unhoused neighbor.
Based on the musical co-written by Brooks (and starring Eartha Kitt), Shinbone Alley, the screenplay for which Brooks wrote, is a 1970 adult animated film about a poet who commits suicide and comes back as a cockroach, loosely based on the Archy and Mehitabel stories by Don Marquis. Fans reportedly weren’t happy with the feline protagonist’s sexy makeover.
Brooks had to get a second mortgage on his house and was ready to “jump off a roof” purely to finance and executive-produce the disastrous Solarbabies, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi adventure movie about a bunch of roller-skating teens in search of a magical orb.
‘Free to Be… You and Me’
Accompanying the landmark album and book, the 1974 Free to Be… You and Me TV special similarly attempted to break down regressive gender stereotypes among children in the most ‘70s way possible. And it wouldn’t be a vintage kid’s show without nightmare-inducing hand puppets; Brooks voiced a newborn baby, who, in retrospect, looks like a cross between Billy Corgan and a half-melted Cabbage Patch Kids doll — which, honestly, is halfway to Billy Corgan to begin with.
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