Friday, January 18, 2013

The Weirdness of Careers

A week later, he calls me, about 1 in the morning, and wakes me up, I say, "Sid, are you alright?" "I can't sleep. I had a meeting today with Pat Weaver and Max Liebman, and my manager, and I couldn't refuse the deal. I signed for three years, for $25,000 a show." That was stupendous. I said, "Wow, that's a lot of money. More than I ever heard of in show business." There were 39 shows a year in those days. So he said, "Let me wait the three years for that contract, and I promise we will," and that's what happened. I stayed with him for the three years. And we did magnificent stuff, magnificent comedy — not just me, everybody did — but at the end of five years of television, Hollywood wasn't that interested. They had more or less had him. He was used up. There wasn't an easy segue after doing so many shows to go to the big screen. But I went. When "Your Show of Shows" was over, I shot myself like a missile right out to Hollywood. And I did it. First I made "The Producers" in New York, and then I went all the way to Yugoslavia to make "The Twelve Chairs," I went to Warner Bros. to make "Blazing Saddles." I never stopped. And I was very lucky, because I had refused to be on the show as a performer, or I would have been used up, too. But as it was, my name was fresh. 

Read the rest of Alan Sepinwall's interview of Mel Brooks.

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