It’s good to be the king, and Mel Brooks should know. The world has been through some shit, and who better to guide audiences through it then the comedy icon. Covering five eras of historical time, Brooks plays as many different characters on this anachronistically hilarious romp! He asks the tough questions: At the last supper, did they all chip in or pay separate checks? Is human chess a flagrant abuse of power or simply the greatest game of all time? What was the first thing man did when he rose from the evolutionary muck? Spoiler alert: it’s just as inappropriate and self-gratifying as you’d assume. An almost unfair assemblage of mirth making intellect fuels this classic journey through time.
The Stone Age, a brutally simple time led by the late genius Sid Caeser. The Old Testament, featuring a shocking reveal that there were actually fifteen commandments. Stupid clumsy Moses, who knows what might have been?! The Roman Empire, my favorite segment features an escape from Rome with Gregory Hines, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise. Are you kidding, that’s already too much comedic talent! The Spanish Inquisition, made incredibly accessible here as a peppy jazz musical number. Only Mel Brooks. The French Revolution, focuses on a role-reversal, a Le Prince et Le Pauvre-type situation between King Louie XIV (Brooks) and a lowly piss boy (also Brooks). Harvey Korman as Count da Money (de Monet, de Monet!!), as per usual steals every scene.
If the history taught to me had been anything like this, I guarantee I’d have at least gotten at least C’s, vastly improving my academic career. What’s nice is that you could watch this, then watch Blazing Saddles to further your lessons in Brooksian History 101. Those lessons? Leave no innuendo unnuendoed. You can never have too much cleavage on display. If Orson Welles narrates it, they will listen. Offend anyone and everyone. Those that do not make fun of history are doomed to be depressed by it. Class dismissed.
directed by Mel Brooks
written by Mel Brooks
favorite line: “Here, wash this!” Emperor Nero