The American Film Institute has announced that Mel Brooks will be presented with its highest honor. “Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy – and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the AFI’s Board of Trustees. “He’s a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves, and it is AFI’s honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting Mel Brooks the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award.” Brooks is best known as writer/director of “The Producers” (he also adapted and wrote the songs for the Broadway musical), “Blazing Saddles,” “High Anxiety,” and “Spaceballs,” but he also produced the serious drama “The Elephant Man” and the lovely “84 Charing Cross Road,” both starring his late wife, Oscar-winner Anne Bancroft.
The award ceremony will take place next June and will be broadcast on TNT. I’m sure AFI will have a lot of fun putting together the line-up of stars and presentations to honor Mel Brooks, and I can’t wait to see it.