Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sometimes One Thing Leads To The Same Thing Part 2

This post contains bad, foul, filthy and unacceptable language - the words that “will curve your spine, grow hair on your hands and maybe, even bring us, God help us, peace without honor.”

This is not a post for children.  Kids, take a hike.
This is also not a post for those adults who are offended by this type of language.  Do yourself a favor, and go read some of my cute stuff before moral outrage can kick in.
Just about everything else on this blog is clean…Stupid sometimes, but clean.
End of Warning.

Click here for part one of Mel Brooks second lifetime achievement George Award, or click here to go back to the start of this year’s ceremonies.

Dear Lord, where to start. 

In the “V.V’s” scene in the Roman section pretty much everything from “He has just been snipped,” through the eunuch test (“He, is dead.”) up to, “The jig is up!” counts as an extended Dick Joke. 

Then there’s the sexual comedy of most of the whole damn French Revolution section.  The Chess match finale, “Pawns Jump Queen…” and, just about anything that leads to Mel saying, “It’s good to be the king,” stand out.

However, it’s Madeline Kahn who, yet again, combines her multiple amazing talents to get to the highest points of low brow humor as Empress Nypho.

Whether it be as a Roman empress belting out with a New York accent:

Oh Bob,
do I have any openings that this man might fit?”

Or the little grin of gleeful realization that follows her rebuke of Marcus Vindictus (stand up legend Shecky Green):

Marcus- “Oh Nympho,
I would do anything to gain your favor.
How can I catch you?
How can ensnare you?
What bait must I use to catch your love?
I am your servant!”

Nympho- “Ah, but the servant waits,
while the master baits!”

But if we’re giving out George Awards for Dick Jokes, which we amazingly are, the crowning achievement has to be her magnificent operatic voice selecting escorts for the orgy, with “Mother Nature” herself, Dena Detrich throwing in a final gag as her competent assistant, Competence:

Nympho – “Yes no no no no no
Yeas no no no
Yeas no no
yeas no no no no no no
YES! no no no no
YES no no no no no no no no no...
Wait a minute...
Competence- “You made some pretty big decisions!”

Nypho’s selections are to the tune of Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours” the act three finale of La Giaconda.

Holy shit, these posts are educational too!

Don’t get too excited, I only knew how to find the name because of dancing ostriches in Fantasia and the use of this song by both Spike Jokes (Doodles Weaver’s car race) and Allan Sherman (“Camp Grenada”).

1983 To Be or Not to Be

Not directed by Mel, but starring him, and with enough of his usual band of cronies to make the list.

It is a much more straight forward story than his usual insanity, but still contains a George Award moment.

In this case, the overly sexed up response both Mel’s wife, Anne Bancroft, (as Anna Bronski) and James Haake as her dresser Sasha have to the description of Lt. Andrei Soblinski’s bomber as delivered by Tim Matheson makes the cut.

Andrei- “I climb into the cockpit,
the engines start to rev up,
I'm in another world.
They sputter.
They hum.
Then they thunder.
The plane moves forward,
taxing down the runway slowly
Faster, till the world becomes a blur,
rushing by at incredible speed.
My tail starts to rise.
The roar of the engines becomes deafening.
The plane shakes,
pushing with all its might to break free.
Then I'm off the ground!
Thrusting upward, upward into the sky.
Flying higher and higher until I feel I can touch the sun.
Would you like to see my bomber?”

Sasha – “YES!!!!”

1987 Spaceballs

Not the most explicit of scenes, but some credit has to go to the amorous adventures of Dark Helmet’s action figures, as performed by Rick Moranis, culminating with

“Of course you do.
Druish princesses are often attracted to money, and power,
and I have BOTH, and YOU KNOW IT!
Oh, oh, no, yes, no,
NO, yes, ah, ah, ah Ahhhhhhh...
Oh, your helmet is so big...”

Until he’s interrupted by George Wyner’s Colonel Sanders.

“No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again.”

Of course pretty much every Schwarz reference is a Dick Joke anyway, from the most obvious:

“I see your Schwartz is as big as mine.”
To the most cringe inducing:

“Shit! I hate it when I get my Schwartz twisted!”

1991 Life Stinks

It’s far from Mel’s best.  Really far in fact, but still containing great comic moments, and a sweet love story between newly homeless Goddard (Mel) and regularly homeless Molly (Leslie Ann Warren).

Their fantasy dance number calls to mind the one from Silent Movie, and precedes a moment of passion, complicated by far too many layers of old clothing.

“I want you I want you…
Where are you?”

1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Mel’s return to the world of parody moved closer to his Seventies masterpieces, as did the innuendo.

The shadow puppet sword moment and subsequent let down between Cary Elwes and Amy Yasbeck during Robin of Loxley and Marian of Bagel's the insanely over the top romantic song was a visual Dick Joke that stood out. But, again, it was everyone's reaction when it was revealed as only a sword that sold it.

Any reference to Mel’s Rabbi Tuckman travelling Mohel also counts.  A highlight is Blinkin (Mark Blankenfeld) saying, “Question,” following a demonstration in a highly Marty Feldman like tone.  That was one of multiple indications that Mel was building a new gang of friends to fill his films with.

There were a great many notable and entertaining references to Marian’s chastity belt, my personal favorite coming in a panic from Roger Rees as the Sherriff of Rottingham following it’s unveiling.

“A chastity belt?
That's going to chafe my willy.”

But I believe Tracey Ullman deserves the highest point, in these questionable categories, when the previous George Award winner Latrine, nearly gets her prayers answered by the Sheriff dropping through her ceiling.  Her reaction to his escape is, at the same time, depraved, sympathetic and hilarious.

“Where are you going?
Oh, bugger
I was that close.
I touched it.”
*gross and silly tongue thing*

1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It

Once more proving I will never understand audiences, though Robin Hood was a hit that introduced a new generation to Mel’s insanity this vastly underrated outing bombed.

It gets only one moment for these lists, but it’s a fun one.

Peter MacNicol’s Renfield takes his first steps on the road to Dwight Frye-dom being seduced by Dracula’s brides.  At first he’s a bit confused at the motions of Darla Haun and Karen Roe:

“What are you doing to the furniture?”

But soon his confusion, and then his British stuffiness and resistance, fade in a way that is pure Mel:

“What are you on about?
What's all this then?
Who are you people?
I-I'll have you know that's my knee you’re straddling!
No, Stop! Stop it at once!
Oh! Ah... No, no this is wrong!
This is wrong!
 This is wrong, do you hear me, wrong!

 This is… *visible mood shift*

2005 The Producers

Mel didn’t direct this one, but directed and wrote the film that the Broadway musical he wrote that inspired this film which he also wrote was based on.

Ow, my head.

Uma Thurman, who was surprisingly good as Ulla, though not as good as Cady Huffman, set up constant references for a running gag about a time.

“Ulla wake up at five A.M. every day.
From five to seven, Ulla like to exercise.
From seven to eight, Ulla like to take long shower.
From eight to nine, Ulla like to have big Swedish breakfast.
Many different herrings.
From nine to eleven, Ulla like to practice her singing and her dancing.
And at eleven, Ulla like to have sex.

What time should I get here?”

*longer pause*
Max and Leo: "Eleven!"

However, to commemorate the second Lifetime Achievement George Award for Mel Brooks, it seems more fitting to go out with a Dick Joke. 

Nathan Lane as Max describing his and Mathew Broderick’s (Leo) reaction to Ulla’s “If You Got It, Flaunt It” audition sums up nicely how we all feel about Mel:

“Even though we're sitting down, we're giving you a standing ovation.”

Come back at some point and click here for a few final special citations as this year’s George Awards come to a close.

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