Friday, August 21, 2009

Know your lgbt history - Blazing Saddles

I've tried and tried to get angry but I simply can't get offended by Blazing Saddles.

It's the most offensive, most politically incorrect, and the funniest movie I have ever seen. So that makes it a favorite of mine.

Blazing Saddles, directed by legendary comedian Mel Brooks, is a takeoff of Western movies. In a nutshell, it tells the story of a town, Rockridge, and its African-American sheriff (Cleavon Little) who has to fight the forces of corruption looking to evict town residents so that a railroad can be built.

And through telling the story of the struggle between the two parties, Mel Brooks manages to make fun of racism, black people, white people, homophobia, gays, rape, foreigners, Hitler, movie musicals, violence, interracial relationships, women, etc. etc.

There are so many anecdotes connected with this movie, but for the purpose of this blog, let's focus on the huge scene at the end where the climactic battle between the forces of corruption and the townspeople crash a studio lot where a movie musical is being filmed.

Don't ask. Just watch. And I repeat, try as I might, I simply cannot get offended by this because it's too hilarious. Please don't hold it against me:

Past Know Your LGBT History postings:

Know your lgbt history - Sanford and Son

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda'

Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Terry said...

I can't get offended by it, either. I think part of that is because one of the chorus boys ends up walking off with a cowboy on his arm later. That really defuses any anger I might feel about the stereotypes.

Traci Dunham said...

How can I hold it against you, it is funny as hell and Mel is a genius.

Who else in the world could poke fun at everyone in sight and get away with it?

Hell, he even poked fun at himself for Christs sake.

God Bless Mel Brooks

Waldo said...

It proceeds from the same assumption that Norman Lear used to create Archie Bunker: he has to offend EVERYBDOY.

Anonymous said...

"Piss off, I'm working for Mel Brooks!"

I also liked History of the World part 1's take on gays:
"in 300,000 BC scientists think the first homosapien marriage occurred... *woman get knocked out with a club and dragged off by a man* shortly followed by the first homsexual marriage... *man gets knocked out with a club and dragged off by another man*"

Bill S said...

I think one reason Mel Brooks can get away with broad humour is that EVERYONE is targeted. Also, there's no malice intended.
In his remake of "To Be Or Not To Be" he has a sympathetic gay character, and the movie even acknowledged that homosexuals were subjected to Nazi persecution. That's actually pretty daring considering it was meant to be a mainstream, silly comedy.

Marlene said...

I agree.... I think of my top ten funniest movies, Mel has to have at least half of the spots: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

Another one of the bits I love Mel in is "The 2000 Year Old Man -- he and Carl Reiner riffing in complete improv? Priceless!

DOSQueen said...

I love the final scene - because it feels like Mel is laughing with us, never at us.