Mel Brooks Is Still Laughing

Article excerpt

Byline: Samuel P. Jacobs

The comedian talks teenage hopes, God, and what scares him most.

Next month, you and Dick Cavett will appear in an HBO special together. It's a reunion for you and the long-time talk-show host. How do you two get along? We got on fine. He's sly. There's a lot of hidden stuff. He hides behind a cloak of gentile correctness and then boom, there's a big Jew joke that comes out of him.

Do you think comics get funnier as they get older? Not necessarily. They tend to drool more, that I know.

You were friends with Catch-22 author Joseph Heller. His daughter just published a book about him. If your son Max, a novelist, wrote a book about you, what would he call it? I think he would call it My Father? and put a big question mark after it. His mother was so beautiful, and he turned out to be so beautiful that maybe she had an affair with the iceman.

It seems like "The 2000 Year Old Man," the improv routine you started with Carl Reiner in the 1950s, might be history's longest-running party trick. You can't say party trick. We are profound. …