Nerds on Film
Episode No. 70 — Mel Brooksuary: I Was Going To Make Espresso
The month of Mel Brooksuary continues with The Nerds welcoming special guest Roxi Nobari to talk about Mel Brooks’ masterpiece Young Frankenstein.
After a rousing conversation about which dead cinematic character we’d bring back to life, we launched into a fabulous discussion over what is arguably Mel Brook’s masterpiece: Young Frankenstein.
The discussion started off with the inspiration for the film, where we shared the following:
- The film intended as a slanted follow-up to both James Whales’s immortalized Frankenstein film as well as Mary Shelley’s classic novel of the same name. Gene Wilder composed the idea and wrote the earliest version of the script, having been terrified of the Whales version as a child, but also being obsessed with it. Brooks became interested in the idea during the shooting of Blazing Saddles, and then officially became attached to the project later.
- Wilder has said that the title was also influenced by the films “Young Tom Edison” which he saw as a child and “Young Winston” (1972) which co-starred Brooks’ wife Ann Bancroft.
- Wilder mandated that Brooks would only be allowed to direct the movie if he wasn’t in it, for fear of making the comedy too zany.
- The film was initially slated to be made by Columbia Pictures, but Brooks refused when they said he couldn’t shoot the film in Black & White. Thankfully, 20th Century Fox was more understanding of Brooks’s artistic intentions.
Then we talked about casting. We went gaga about all the major actors in the film, but also shared some fun little tidbits:
- Madeline Kahn was originally going to be an Opera singer, but changed course when she was offered a comedic part.
- Marty Feldman’s bulging eyes were a result of a botched surgery for his Graves’ Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroid symptoms, including his protruding eyes.
- Mel Brooks, while not appearing the film, did however provide the voices for Victor Frankenstein, the werewolf, and of the cat getting hit by the dart.
Throughout the entire episode, we re-enacted our favorite moments, including a hilarious rendition of the famous “Abby Normal” scene by both Bryan and Sean.
We wrapped by talking about how wildly successful the film was, and how it set Mel Brooks on track to make the films he made for the next 20 years.
By the way, if you haven’t seen this movie, below are the links to go see this movie, as well as articles we researched in preparation for the episode.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Young Frankenstein — http://www.parade.com/222192/michelewojciechowski/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-young-frankenstein/
Mel Brooks on Young Frankenstein: The Real Reason He Wasn’t In His Own Movie: http://www.parade.com/222188/michelewojciechowski/mel-brooks-on-young-frankenstein-the-real-reason-he-wasnt-in-his-own-movie/
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Stay Nerdy, Friends!