On Thursday, June 6, Mel Brooks received the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award at the Dolby Theater. Brooks, 86, is the man behind such film classics as Young Frankenstein, The Producers and Blazing Saddles.
The award was presented to Brooks by director Martin Scorsese.
The programs was opened by Martin Short with a song-and-dance routine set to a medley of songs from Brooks’ films.
The stars came out to honor Brooks. In attendance were Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Billy Crystal, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Larry David and Carl Reiner.
Other film luminaries lauded Brooks via video, including Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg and Gene Wilder.
Brooks’ work in Hollywood was the vanguard for an entire genre of movies, such as Airplane! and Scream, that spoof contemporary films.
Some of Brooks’ best work, including The Producers and Young Frankenstein, have been successfully adapted into plays.
Past recipients of the AFI honor include Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Eastwood, Spielberg, Lucas and Martin Scorsese.