Mel Brooks is one of those all-around talents with a bunch of Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys to his name, but on Thursday night, he was honored with the AFI Lifetime Achievement award.
The tribute gala, sponsored by Audi and helt at the Dolby Theatre, showcased a lifetime of work from Brooks, as plenty of stars cheered on to toast, while some spoke up to roast Brooks.
Stars who spoke about Brooks’ influence included Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Cloris Leachman, Amy Poehler, Conan O’Brien, Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Kimmel, David Lynch and Larry David.
Some of the best roasts and toasts came from:
Billy Crystal: “It’s very rare that you get a chance to say in public ‘thank you’ to one of your heroes. To me he’s an original, a true comic icon who made me want to be a comedian. So tonight, Carl…” Crystal then paused and nodded at Carl Reiner, Brooks’ oldest friend sitting at his head table, as the audience laughed.
Robert DeNiro: “You know the one that really hurt? Overlooking me for the monster in Young Frankenstein. I mean, I was born to play that role.”
Conan O’Brien: “Mel’s appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show are some of the most explosively funny and hilarious moments in the history of all late-night television. When I was growing up and word would get out that Mel Brooks was going to be a guest on Johnny, my whole house would stay up late.”
To which Jimmy Kimmel referred to as he took his turn to talk: “We love you much more than Conan’s family loves you.”
Martin Scorsese: “Mel has always made his own comedy his own way, and reminded us yet again what is all too easy to forget: You can be a great filmmaker, just for laughs.”
Brooks read his thank yous on a white notecard: “Thank AFI, friends, family and colleagues for coming. Try to be sincere. Don’t forget the splendor of the event.”
The event will air on TNT Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m.
Photos by: Brian To/WENN.com