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A pair of comedy icons will be honored in the coming weeks. Here are the details:


Mel Brooks has been in show business for more than sixty years, with awards of every variety to put him in an elite class of winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). Yet, the comedy giant has avoided a documentary profile being made, even issuing an informal gag order on his friends… until now. Prior to its broadcast premiere, the Paley Center For Media presents this special screening and onstage conversation celebrating the iconic comedy genius.

Showcasing the Brooklyn native’s brilliant skewed originality, American Masters Mel Brooks: Make a Noise journeys through Brooks’s early years in live television—with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows—to the cinematic genres he so successfully satirized in Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs—to the groundbreaking Broadway musical version of his first film, The Producers. The documentary also delves into his professional and personal ups and downs—his childhood, first wife, and subsequent forty-one-year marriage to Anne Bancroft—capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession.

The documentary features new interviews with Brooks, his friends and colleagues, including Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Cloris Leachman, Joan Rivers, Tracey Ullman, and his close friend, with whom he created The 2000 Year Old Man more than fifty years ago… Carl Reiner.

American Masters: Mel Brooks airs on PBS, Monday, May 20th, at 9:00 pm (ET/PT; check local listings). Tickets are now on sale.



          DON RICKLES

The Friars Club is honoring Don Rickles with a Lifetime Achievement award.The entertainers’ group just announced it will celebrate the career of 86-year-old comedian at its annual awards ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

Tony Danza, Kathy Griffin, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Bob Costas, and Joan Rivers are among those set to appear on June 24th. Don Rickles started his career in the 1950s, and has worked with generations of legends, including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Lucille Ball. Because of his relationship with Johnny Carson, Rickles still visits the late-night shows of Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson. His movie career has been diverse, with roles in Run Silent Run Deep, Kelly’s Heroes, Casino, the Beach Party films, and the Toy Story series of animated classics.

His nickname is Mr. Warmth, derived from his comedic routine.


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