Mel Brooks Talks Get Smart, Steve Carell, and More
It seems like all we've talked about for the last few days has been action and adventure and comic books. How about some comedy? The one upcoming comedy that I'm probably looking forward to seeing the most this summer is Get Smart. Although Tropic Thunder looks great, too, I think its my love for all things James Bond and spies that has got me interested so much in this. The LA Times recently interviewed comedic genius and "Get Smart" creator Mel Brooks. He's a funny guy to interview and it shows in this one. He talks about everything from the original show to his son, Max Brooks, and more. If you need yet another reason to get in the mood for the comedic brilliance of Get Smart, this is definitely it.
Asked first to describe exactly what Get Smart is, Brooks gives one of the best intros you'll ever hear. "It's an insane combination of James Bond and Mel Brooks comedy. It has a wonderful fusion and special effects and comedy, which is very rare. Usually, when you get big special effects pictures, sci-fi and things, there's little or no comedy. Or it's a domestic comedy and there's not one special effect – like Knocked Up. But very rarely do these things fuse and come out right." This is exactly why I'm looking forward to it so much. And I'm expecting it to be as funny as Knocked Up, but with all the cool tech gadgets and spy scenes as inspired by James Bond.
One question that is always asked when an old show is adapted is whether the original people involved, especially the creators, approve of the latest version. We all know that Alan Moore doesn't like his named to be attached to any adaptations of his graphic novels. But this time around, Mel Brooks was not only intricately involved, but seems quite happy with the results.
It's got a good director, Peter Segal. Wonderful director. The writers were great. The producers were young and aggressive and smart. But the brilliance is Steve Carell. To choose a guy who's right in the Don Adams groove. You couldn't get a better guy than Steve Carell. And yet he doesn't do Don Adams. He does none of his delivery. He just does Steve Carell.
Brooks says that the producers called him often and asked him "what do you think of this?" and he would provide his feedback. It's great to hear that he's so intricately involved, not only for the sake of it being appropriate to include the original creator, but also because Brooks is one of the greatest film comedians in history. I hope that means that this movie will retain at least the spirit of the original TV show and yet still be full of some of the best jokes and humor all year long. I hope everyone is now starting to realize why I'm so damn excited for this.
I highly suggest everyone go read the full interview. Another one of my favorite parts is when Brooks was asked about the shoe phone considering we now have cell phones. "I guess Buck Henry and I actually invented the cell phone. We didn't know we were doing that. We still haven't gotten any royalties from that or the Cone of Silence. And I think they did a great job with the Cone of Silence in the movie. They super-teched it." I'm very much looking forward to seeing the updated incantations of the shoe phone and the Cone of Silence in this Get Smart.
Get Smart is directed by comedic mastermind Pete Segal, who previously directed Naked Gun 33 1/3, Tommy Boy, Anger Management and 50 First Dates. The script was writen by Tom J. Astle (Failure to Launch) and Matt Ember (Failure to Launch). The movie is based on the classic 1960's TV show created by Mel Brooks. Get Smart hits theaters everywhere this summer on June 20th.