Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brooks, Reiner, Carson, Rickles, Sinatra, And Hitchcock

Interview with Mel Brooks in Salon:

There’s a fantastic clip of you singing “America the Beautiful” as Frank Sinatra. 
When I did “High Anxiety” [which includes a scene of Brooks crooning the theme song], I got a note from Sinatra. He said, “Mel, I’m serious. If I can’t make a date at the Sands for some reason, if I’m sick or stuck in traffic or whatever, you’ve got to sub for me. You are me as a Jew.” I said, “You got it!” Let me tell you one joke, Calabria. I don’t know if it’s in the boxed set. I think it’s in the Dick Cavett part. True story: Frank told me it was true. Don Rickles opened for him in many places. This may have been the Sands in Las Vegas. Don had just started and was a kid. He said to Frank, “I said I got a beautiful girl. She’s really gorgeous. She’s a chorus girl. And Frank, if you would just stop for 10 seconds or a minute and say hi. Just acknowledge me. Please.” So Frank said, “OK, I’ll do it.” So Don opens for him, and he’s very funny. Frank is, of course, incredible. He wows them. And Don immediately gets his table out front, and he’s having a drink with this girl. Frank comes over as promised, and he says, “Hey, Don Rickles. How are you doing? Who’s this beautiful girl?” And Don says, “The fuck’s a matter with you? Can’t you see we’re talking here!” And Frank said he just collapsed. But that’s Don.

For some inexplicable reason, I never tire of that Rickles/Sinatra story.

Read the whole interview - you'll hear Mel Brooks' voice in your head while you read it, which may be incredibly enjoyable or incredibly terrifying, depending upon your perspective on things.

Me, I enjoyed it.

I always enjoyed this story too - and Carson's reactions:

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