Longtime Hamptonite and comic genius Mel Brooks, who created such memorable films as Blazing Saddles, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Space Balls and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, will receive the American Film Institute’s 41st Lifetime Achievement Award this summer. The award will be presented to Brooks at a gala tribute on Thursday, June 6 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
“Mel Brooks is America’s long-reigning king of comedy—and as he taught us long ago, it’s good to be the king,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the American Film Institute Board of Trustees. “He’s a master of an art form that rarely gets the respect it deserves, and it is AFI‘s honor to shine a bright light on laughter by presenting Mel Brooks the 41st AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Brooks is only one of 14 people who have won the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, also known as the coveted “EGOT” on NBC‘s 30 Rock. Brooks is best known for his comedy films, but he was also executive producer on the Academy Award-winning The Elephant Man (1980). His films have been recognized by the American Film Institute as among the funniest American movies of all time, with three films in the top 15 of AFI‘s 100 Years…100 Laughs list: Blazing Saddles at #6, The Producers at #11 and Young Frankenstein at #13.
Brooks, 86, earned an honorary degree from AFI in 2012 (pictured with David Lynch below). Now he joins the ranks of former Lifetime Achievement Award winners, including Tom Hanks, Orson Welles, East Hampton‘s Steven Spielberg, James Cagney, Gene Kelly, Robert DeNiro, George Lucas and other Hollywood greats. Shirley MacLaine won the coveted prize in 2012.
The 41st AFI Life Achievement Award tribute special will premiere on TNT in late June, followed by encores on its sister network, Turner Classic Movies (TCM).