Stars gathered at the American Film Institute gala on Thursday to honor Mel Brooks for his career achievements. The 41st Life Achievement Award was handed by Scorsese and De Niro, who expressed their regret for missing the opportunity to work with the Hollywood star, the Associated Press reports.
Mel Brooks has left his signature on many of the most appreciated movies in Hollywood, such as, “Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein” and “The Producers”. Given his numerous career achievements, the American Film Institute decided to honor him during a special ceremony which was held on Thursday with the participation of numerous other Hollywood stars. The award was handed over by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, two Oscar-winning stars, who confessed with regret, that they never had the opportunity to work with Brooks.
The ceremony contained numerous entertainment moments inspired by Mel Brooks’ movies. The program opened with a song-and-dance routine executed on the most popular songs of Brooks’ movies. Martin Short, the presenter of the show, used the word “genius” to refer to the honoree of the evening, Mel Brooks. “The word genius is used a lot in Hollywood, so I might as well call Mel one,” he stated.
Many important figures from the Hollywood industry were present at the ceremony, including Billy Crystal, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Larry David and Carl Reiner. Kimmel described Brooks as one of the greatest figures in Hollywood, while David confessed that he did not get into comedy because Mel’s talent was too intimidating.
Some actors and actresses did not make it to the ceremony, but they nevertheless insisted on saying a few words in honor of the director. Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg and Gene Wilder held video conferences to praise Brooks and congratulate him for the Life Achievement Award. Elizabeth Taylor, Martin Scorsese, Kirk Douglas, Spielberg, Lucas and Eastwood are the other Hollywood figures who received the AFI honor in the past.