Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Article excerpt

Jan. 9, 1952

'Curtain Going Up'

Even the "2000 Year Old Man" had to start somewhere. Back in 1952, 26-year-old Mel Brooks was just another struggling comedy writer, penning sketches for a revue - albeit one backed by names like Milton Berle, Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor. "Curtain Going Up" had a twoweek tryout in Philadelphia before a planned Broadway debut. Alas, the show never made it to the Great White Way, but the uber-talented Brooks certainly did. Again. And again. And again, debra birnbaum

Do you remember your first mention In this publication?

At that point, I was so happy to get my name in Variety, even if it was just for a parking ticket! All my life, a mention in Variety, especially a good review of my shows on Broadway or of my films, has meant an awful lot. 1 was always very happy when I got a good review - and very angry when I got a bad review.

So what happened with "Curtain Going Up"?

Eddie Cantor was a famous vaudeville comedian in those days. One of his daughters, Marilyn, created and produced the show, and I had a sketch in it. Leonard Sherman and Ronny Graham got a glimpse of it in Philadelphia. When they heard it was dosing, they asked me, "Can we take this fathers and sons sketch and use it in (our show) 'New Faces of '52? …

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