Mel Brooks, the self proclaimed Quentin Tarantino of his day and the most recent recipient of AFI’s Life Achievement Award, hasn’t given up on comedy. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brooks says, “I thought when Richard Pryor died, that was the end of comedy. He was my favorite comedy talent. But we go on,” citing Sarah Silverman as “genuinely talented and funny” and part of the reason comedy thrives today. “Somehow, they’re born. They come along. It goes on,” he says. “Never as good as my stuff, but pretty damn good.”
This is the first time Brooks has been lauded for his work as a director. He’s been referred to as “a comedy force…a stand-up…a comedy writer” and “a producer.”
“[Hollywood] thinks comedy is frivolous,” he says, “But real comedy has a lot to say about the human condition and said so beautifully over the years. [The AFI] is the first that said, ‘You’re a movie director.’” Check out the full interview here.