His running "walk this way" gag is also the inspiration for the song "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith. The gag was copied from William Powell's ad-lib in After the Thin Man (1936).
On NPR interview, mentioned that he attended Virginia Military Institute - and thus, in reference to the 1938 film setting, was a "Brother Rat".
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985." Pages 162-167. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Has cited his favorite films as Ladri di biciclette (1948) (aka The Bicycle Thief) and La grande illusion (1937).
Worked as a stand-up comedy "tummeler" in Catskill Mountains resorts before joining Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows" (1950) immortal writing staff in the 1950s, which featured Woody Allen and Neil Simon. It's also where he met performer Carl Reiner. This legendary Caesar show was the basis for the comedy classic, My Favorite Year (1982).
Children from his first marriage: Stefanie Brooks (born 1956), Nicky Brooks (born 1957) and Eddie Brooks (born 1959). Son, Max Brooks, with Anne Bancroft was born in 1972.
In 1966, he was about to co-star in a movie called "Easy Come, Easy Go" with Jan Berry and Dean Torrence in the leading roles. What would have been his on-screen debut, was canceled due to a car wreck during shooting, in which Berry suffered a severe brain damage and paralysis. On the casting list was also British comedy star Terry-Thomas.
One of the few people to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony. He won an Oscar for the screenplay of The Producers (1968); 3 Emmys in a row (1997-1999) for his guest appearance as Uncle Phil in "Mad About You" (1992); 3 Tonys for The Producers- Best Musical, Original Music Score and Book (musical); and 3 Grammys- Best Spoken Comedy Album for "The 2000 Year Old Man In The Year 2000" (1998, with Carl Reiner) and two for The Producers (2001): Best Musical Show Album (as composer/lyricist) and Best Long Form Music Video (as artist).
Called his late wife Anne Bancroft his Obi-Wan Kenobi since she encouraged him to turn his movie The Producers (1968) into a Broadway musical.
His film, The Producers (1968), was the inspiration for the title of U2's album, "Achtung Baby".
In the original film version of The Producers (1968), Brooks' voice can be heard singing the line "Don't be stupid/Be a schmarty/Come and join the Nazi Party" during the "Springtime for Hitler" number. For the Broadway musical version, he repeats this task, with the live actor lip-synching to a recording of Brooks.
Has directed two performers to Oscar nominations: Gene Wilder (for The Producers (1968)) and Madeline Kahn (for Blazing Saddles (1974)).
Though Blazing Saddles (1974) and Young Frankenstein (1974) are often cited as his best and most popular films as a director, his biggest video sales are Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).
Has directed three of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: Blazing Saddles (1974) at #6, The Producers (1968) at #11 and Young Frankenstein (1974) at #13.
According to his 1975 Playboy interview, Mel's favorite candy is Raisinets.
Was considered for the role of Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween (1978).
Performed a rap song for the soundtrack of History of the World: Part I (1981) called "It's Good To Be The King". It was a surprisingly successful hip-hop/dance hit in 1981. He followed it up with "Hitler Rap" for To Be or Not to Be (1983). The song was not as successful. But the lyric "Don't be stupid, be a smarty/Come and join the Nazi Party" was originally used in the original movie version of The Producers (1968), then later reused in Brooks' Broadway version of "The Producers".
Worked with son Nicky Brooks at Brooksfilm. Nicky was a story editor on The Fly (1986), The Fly II (1989) and Spaceballs (1987).
The 1944 edition of the Eastern District High School (Brooklyn, N.Y.) yearbook featured the future Mel Brooks (born Melvin Kaminsky) stating that his goal was to become President of the United States; forty-three years later, in 1987, his ambition was to be fulfilled, if only in fiction and in part -- in the movie Spaceballs (1987), he portrayed Spaceball leader "President Skroob".
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy", by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 63-66. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
He is a close friend of Italian TV star Ezio Greggio, whose movies he inspired. Brooks is often a guest in Greggio's shows, and Brooks offered Greggio a small part in his Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), due to this friendship.
Named one of E!'s "Top 20 entertainers of 2001.".
Named one of People Magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of 2001".
He produced and wrote the music, lyrics, and book for the Broadway musical "The Producers" (2001), the musical version of his earlier movie The Producers (1968). The Broadway hit musical then lead to the musical movie The Producers (2005).
In 2001, won three Tony Awards for "The Producers": as a co-producer of the Best Musical winner; as Best Book (Musical), with collaborator Thomas Meehan; and as Best Original Musical Score, both lyrics and music.
Grandson Henry Michael Brooks (Max's son) born April 2005.
One of the five winners of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors. Other 2009 winners were Bruce Springsteen, Robert De Niro, Dave Brubeck, and Grace Bumbry.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 23, 2010.