The Comedians guest starring Mel Brooks will air on FX this Thursday, April 30th.
Recently, Billy Crystal spoke to NPR’s Terry Gross about Mel:
GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. My guests are Billy Crystal and Josh Gad. They play satirical versions of themselves in the new FX comedy series “The Comedians.”
You’ve each had the chance to work with people who were heroes to you when you were growing up. Can you each tell us a story about meeting one of those people and having the chance to work with them?
CRYSTAL: Well, for me, show businesswise, Mel Brooks – “The 2000 Year Old Man” was the album, you know, you just – everybody knew it, who knew anything about comedy. And it was – he was so hilarious and that energy – that manic, crazy, Jewish uncle energy that I knew in my house, he had. And he was just so hilarious and so free and so unexpected, everything he said. And so I got to meet him as parents. His son Max and my daughter Jenny were in kindergarten together from they were 5. So we – I knew Mel as a parent, which was hilarious. Then we’d see each other socially on and off because of my relationship with Rob Reiner and then Carl, who also is another, you know – you’re looking at this Mount Rushmore of comedy – that’s two of the faces. And when I was on Broadway and I finished my run, Mel called me. And I always wanted to work with him and never happened, and he calls me. He says, Billy, hi, it’s Mel. Listen, I want you to go into “The Producers.” I think you’d be a great Max. You’ll go and you’ll do Max. You’ll play it from now till the holidays – till Christmas – and that’ll be great. What do you think? I said, Mel, oh, I’ve been waiting for this call for 30 years, but I just finished my run. And with all due respect, I don’t want to be the eighth guy to play Max Bialystock. And he said you won’t be, you’ll be the 12th.
You can listen to the entire interview here: