Friday, June 28, 2019

The 2,000 Year Old Man Isn't a Newborn AnyMore

Mel Brooks, writer, producer is 93 years old today.

 He seems to be in fine fettle despite having been a widower since 2005.  He and Anne Bancroft were married in 1964 when she was 33.  She died age 73 of uterine cancer which she kept a secret until the obituary notices.  She was said to be intensely private and, indeed, who would want to upstage Mel Brooks!?

Especially since his brilliant career began when he was 9 years old!  His uncle, a cab driver, traded some free rides in return to a popular at the time production at a Broadway theatre.  Apparently or possibly at his bar mitzvah, he told his parents he was going into show business and promptly got a summer job at a Jewish resort in the Catskills as a "tummler" a comedian who specializes in bizarre actions to amuse a largely Jewish audience.

He worked the swimming pool and one of the examples of crazy humor was:  he would put a big, oversized overcoat on over his swim suit, pick up a pair of pails filled with rocks and stroll out to the end of the diving board.  There, he would declaim "Business is  terrible - I can't go on!" and jump.

2,000 Year Old Man should be good for amusing us for years to come - at 93, he's just about to learn to walk.  Jumping into pools will have to wait a while.

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