It's good to be the King of Comedy. Mel Brooks has been on a roll lately, with a DVD box set, a PBS American Masters tribute and now an AFI Life Achievement Award, presented by Martin Scorsese at a black-tie gala in Hollywood. The 86-year-old legend granted us an audience.
TV Guide Magazine: Why are we having a Mel Brooks moment right now?
Mel Brooks: I'm on the century plan — you live 100 years, then you die. I'm getting close to 100, so they said, "We better recognize this guy!"
TV Guide Magazine: You're already an EGOT winner. What are you going to do with another award?
Brooks: I've got all the awards I need. But if I run out of money, I can pay the rent selling my Emmys, Grammys, Oscar and Tonys on eBay.
TV Guide Magazine: You started out as a writer on Your Show of Shows. What do you like on TV these days?
Brooks: I watch more drama than comedy. My favorite shows are Justified and Breaking Bad — these are fabulous shows. And I love stuff like Game of Thrones and The Borgias. It's a veritable feast, if you've got cable.
TV Guide Magazine: What are you looking forward to most about the AFI ceremony?
Brooks: For me, it's a great, big, wonderful evening recognizing my directorial talent — and a free meal. It's everything from soup to nuts. No check! But you can drink as much as you want, which I adore. I hope the wine is drinkable.
TV Guide Magazine: What would the 2000 Year Old Man say about your winning a Life Achievement Award at 86?
Brooks: He probably would say, "Wait a minute — this is a juvenile. What has he done? Let's see what he does in a couple hundred years. Then we can judge him. He's just a fresh kid making trouble!"
The AFI Life Achievement Award: Mel Brooks airs Saturday, June 15 at 9/8c on TNT.