Few people have had an impact on comedy even half as big as Mel Brooks. The man's quick wit and fearlessness in irreverently tackling serious subject matters proved to future generations that anything is funny if one looks at it in the right way. On paper, a comedy featuring a song called "Springtime For Hitler" sounds like a recipe for trouble. But not only did The Producers please audiences, it also earned Brooks an Academy Award for best original screenplay, beating out Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
After that debut film and his sophomore effort, The Twelve Chairs, his output mostly turned to genre parodies. Blazing Saddles lambasted westerns, High Anxiety did Hitchcock, Spaceballs poked fun at Star Wars, and the list goes on and on.
If one is looking for something else to watch after viewing his filmography, we're here to help. The 10 films presented below are sure to make fans of Brooks' output laugh until tears fill their eyes.
Don't forget the exclamation mark when typing out this classic slapstick masterpiece. One should probably say it with unbridled enthusiasm too, just to keep it safe. Airplane! never lets up on the jokes, packing punchline after punchline into every scene. On top of that, all of the performances are played straight, making the gags even funnier.
Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker even employed serious actors one would never expect to see in a comedy like Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, and Robert Stack. In fact, Leslie Nielsen was a dramatic actor before this role unleashed his comedic chops.
9 Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back
The View Askewniverse is a weird beast. It started off with Clerks, a low budget indie film about two men on the job discussing their various thoughts on life and culture. It was so dialogued heavy, it could have been a radio drama.
Flash forward several films into Kevin Smith's career, and he is making Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a slapstick road trip where the two main characters head to Hollywood to prevent a film adaptation based on a comic book using their likeness. The film is overflowing with cameos where serious actors take the opportunity to poke fun at themselves.
8 To Be Or Not To Be
No, this isn't referring to the Mel Brooks movie, but the original Black Comedy on which the remake is based. The plot is identical—Polish actors using their talents to trick Nazis occupying their native land—but done at a time when the axis was still a real threat. The film was controversial upon release, but has since been recognized as one of the greatest comedies of its era. Few films would dare touch such a sensitive subject matter, but To Be or Not to Be does it with tact, successfully making fun of an evil regime while not making light of the Nazis' occupation of Poland.
7 Undercover Brother
Undercover Brother, directed by Malcolm D. Lee, spoofs a number of blaxploitation and spy films, but its best gags don't come from the parody. Eddie Griffin stars and Dave Chappelle plays a supporting role, making it worth it just to see the comedian in a movie.
6 Shaun Of The Dead
Shaun of the Dead is crammed full of jokes but is also a genuine zombie movie filled with gore and violence. On top of that, it's not mindless like the hordes of undead hungry for brains.
The characters are going through real internal struggles, and the main character specifically is dealing with having to grow up. It was the first feature film by Edgar Wright after the cult sitcom Spaced finished, and he came out of the gate swinging.
5 Walk Hard
Dewey Cox had a hard life, and Walk Hard is a loving tribute to the legend whose impact on the music industry will be felt for generations to come.
Just kidding; Dewey Cox never existed, and the film is a hilarious lampooning of biopic cliches. John C. Reilly effortlessly switches between dramatic and comedic roles, a skill that benefits both acting styles his turn as Dewey Cox so unique.
4 Austin Powers
Mike Meyer's Austin Powers is one of the best comedies of the '90s. The character is a spoof of James Bond and the general British culture of the '60s. Meyer's parents were from Liverpool, giving the film's vibe of a loving tribute rather than being antagonistic. On top of that, it is also great to see the actor play dual roles with both the title character and villain, Dr. Evil.
3 Monty Python's Life Of Brian
This entry can account for this troupe's entire body of work, and not just Life of Brian. Admittedly, some of their skits can get just too bizarre to be considered funny, but there is enough gold to make up for the duds. One can't go wrong with any of the feature films, though, especially The Holy Grail or Life of Brian. The latter has an especially interesting story attached to it; funding was pulled shortly before production, and George Harrison stepped in to fund and produce the project. Life of Brian also garnered controversy upon release for its satirical look at Christianity.
2 Naked Gun
Another film by Jim Abrahams and the two Zucker Brothers, The Naked Gun jokes around with the universally popular police procedural and the older film noir genre. Depending on one's sense of humor, OJ Simpson's role either makes the whole film ten times funnier or intensely uncomfortable.
1 Black Dynamite
Black Dynamite is simultaneously a parody of blaxploitation and a sincere contribution to the genre. It is filmed to look like a low budget '70s movie, and the plot would fit right in with the decade.
Michael Jai White plays the titular character, and his impressive physical prowess is on full display as much as his surprising comedic talents.