The Latest Celebrity Mel-Down: Mel Brooks Hates Ben Brantley!
Mel Gibson hates Jews, but Mel Brooks hates Ben Brantley! At a New York Times Arts & Leisure week panel last night, ironically enough, the Young Frankenstein inventor spent most of his time onstage screeching about how the Times critic should be whipped with a Borscht belt, even talking over his fellow panelists like Roger Bart and Susan Stroman to make that monstrous assertion. The 2000 year old man—I mean the CREATOR of the 2000 Year Old Man—attacked Brantley for mentioning YF's select bunch of $450 tickets (Mel feels that point has been irresponsibly blown up), for writing that he only laughed three times ("I happen to know there are four big laughs," nyuck nyuck), for claiming the songs sounded too similar ("That shows a profound ignorance. . ." etc., etc.), and for not kissing his ass (“I deserve a salute!”). I found the old Jew endearing, in a semi-insufferable sort of way—which is more than Mel Gibson would think of him—and I will have more to say about it in the column, if he'll let me get a word in edgewise.