Prolonged Stardom: Audio Records, TV and Film, 1961–2004

Alex Symons

in Mel Brooks in the Cultural Industries

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780748649587
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676484 | DOI:
Prolonged Stardom: Audio Records, TV and Film, 1961–2004

Show Summary Details


This chapter focuses on Brooks's career as a film and TV comedian. Brooks, like so many other comedians, capitalised on each subsequent role by recycling material from previous appearances. In fact, his career can be usefully divided into three distinct campaigns, in which he cultivated an evolving persona. While Brooks's idiolect is certainly dependent on audience familiarity, his image is characterised by regular and significant change. Through a broad and prolonged history of intermedial adaptations, Brooks's career has been marked by transitions into various personas, ranging from his zany Yiddish goof in his 2000 Year Old Man audio performances, to his anarchic, Groucho Marx-style persona in his film Blazing Saddles (1974), to his endearing old gent ‘Uncle Phil’ in the sitcom Mad About You. These shifts demonstrate his ability to drastically adapt the material to meet the expectations of new eras as the cultural industries continue to change.

Keywords: comedians; performers; adaptations; 2000 Year Old Man; Blazing Saddles; Mad About You; cultural industries

Chapter.  13483 words. 

Subjects: Film

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.