Mel Brooks Looks Back on Blazing Saddles’s Near-Failure

Here’s Mel Brooks on the near-death of Blazing Saddles in his AV Club interview:

“I kept saying to all the other writers, ‘Write anything you want. Write from the bottom of your heart. Write from your unconscious if you can get in there. Write everything you can, because this ain’t gonna get made, anyway.’…Leo Greenfield, who was in charge of distribution then, said, ‘I’ve never said to anybody in this company, “Let’s eat this picture, just pay for it, eat it, never show it, because it would embarrass the company.” I’m saying it now.’ [Laughs.] He says, ‘This is too embarrassing. We can’t release this picture.’ So we were finished, you know, because they all kind of agreed that it was just too irreverent, too crazy, cast a bad light on Warner Bros.”

Just goes to show, you never know what’s going to end up in the trash bin and what’s going to be the one scene your dad keeps insisting you watch because it was such a formative experience for his sense of humor. (In fairness, though, that scene is pretty great.)

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