Mel Brooks Has the Best Advice on Taking Notes from Studio Executives

When the head of Warner Bros. says to cut the fart jokes from 'Blazing Saddles,’ you say ‘Yes sir!’ — and then keep the fart jokes anyways
Mel Brooks Has the Best Advice on Taking Notes from Studio Executives

Here’s a Hollywood brainteaser: What’s the best way to fire Gene Wilder from The Producers? According to Mel Brooks, the answer is, “Theoretically.”

Like anyone who has ever strived for greatness in entertainment, the 97-year-old comedy film savant has had to hear quite a few bad ideas concocted by idiotic producers (in fact, he might have made a film loosely related to the topic). Among these stupid suggestions was the aforementioned attempt by an unnamed executive to fire Wilder as well as a demand from the head of Warner Bros to cut the iconic fart jokes from Blazing Saddles

Fortunately for all of us, Brooks managed to simultaneously make his masterpieces and make his bosses happy through a crafty industry technique known as “lying.”

As users on Twitter recently discussed, Brooks delivered one of the greatest pieces of advice to readers of The New Yorker in 2021, saying that, when some uncreative big-wig upstairs asks you to do something that would sully your work, “You say yes, and you never do it." 

“Don’t fight them. Don’t waste your time struggling with them and trying to make sense to them. They’ll never understand,” Brooks tells all creatives who struggle with the business side’s “brilliant” ideas. In fact, save all their questions, suggestions and complaints in the same Hollywood filing cabinet that has that unfinished Erewhon smoothie and the pilot script of The Idol.

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