Mel Brooks: Disobedient Jew
Chair: Tanya Gold
From a Catskllls comic to one of the few individuals to have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards, Mel Brooks dominated 20th century American comedy. Now, as he approaches 97, the director of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein is the subject of the latest book in Yale’s Jewish Lives series. Jeremy Dauber’s Mel Brooks: Disobedient Jew explores how Brooks’ American Jewish humour morphed from being solely for niche audiences to an essential part of the mainstream, from Sid Caesar’s legendary writing room in the 1950s to conquering Broadway with The Producers five decades later. The Jewish Comedy author and Columbia professor joins journalist Tanya Gold to discuss a hugely influential figure.
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Jeremy Dauber is a professor of Jewish literature and American studies at Columbia University. His books include Jewish Comedy and The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem, both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in New York City.
The Jewish Chronicle
Tanya Gold is a freelance journalist and restaurant critic for The Spectator. She won a British Press Award in 2010 and a Foreign Press Association Award in 2015.
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