If you're not gonna tell the truth, then why start talking?
It’s very difficult to appreciate when you’re doing it all the time in the business. The laughter means so much to people. I suppose at all times, but especially these days. It seems that life is more difficult. It has been for me, and God knows for Gilda. But I think for everyone, they’re looking for a little relief. I used to think, ‘Sure, to get relief, they get a laugh.’ But I didn’t know the laugh meant that much. Sometimes it’s the difference between going to sleep at night depressed and worried about how you’re going to make it; and going through with a little confidence that it will be okay, it will be okay. Cause laughing is good for you. It’s good for the liver. It’s for the soul. It’s good for your whole emotional equipment.
The world is not based on fairness. Human beings can rise to fairness, can administer something that makes it fair or just. But that's not God.
I wanted to do - there was this film called 'Magic' that Anthony Hopkins did. And the director wanted me. The writer wanted me. Joe Levine said no, I don't want any comedians in this.
I'm not a natural writer like, let's say - I'm not talking about Arthur Miller; that's a whole other thing - but let's say Woody Allen. But the more I've written, the more I've found that there is a deep well in me somewhere that wants to express things that I'm not going to find unless I write them myself.
What I learned from Mel Brooks was audacity - in performance as in life. Maybe you go too far, but try it.
My favorite author is Anton Chekhov, not so much for the plays but for his short stories, and I think he was really my tutor.
I live in a small town in Connecticut, and they don't write scripts there, but I get them anyway because my agent is in Los Angeles.
I don't want to do 'Hamlet.' I don't want to do Robert Redford roles or Mel Gibson roles or Kevin Costner roles, because I'm not going to be good at them.
I never thought of it as God. I didn't know what to call it. I don't believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, that drives them.
I'm going to tell you what my religion is. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Period. Terminato. Finito.
Success is a terrible thing and a wonderful thing. If you can enjoy it, it's wonderful. If it starts eating away at you, and they're waiting for more from me, or what can I do to top this, then you're in trouble. Just do what you love. That's all I want to do.
My mother was suffering every day of her life, and what right did I have to be happy if she was suffering? So whenever I got happy about something, I felt the need to cut it off, and the only way to cut it off was to pray. 'Forgive me Lord.' For what, I didn't know.
If my mother hadn't laughed at the funny things I did, I probably wouldn't be a comic actor. After she had her first heart attack, the doctor said, 'Try to make her laugh.' And that was the first time I tried to make anyone laugh.
There seems to be a pattern. I get one good script every two years.
Great art direction is NOT the same thing as great film direction!
Whatever simplicity I've achieved in writing, I think I owe most of it to Jean Renoir and Hemingway: simple, declarative sentences. I've read some very good writers, but the sentences were so long that I've forgotten what the point was.
My basic mistake in 'The World's Greatest Lover' was that I made the leading character a neurotic kook and sent him to Hollywood. I should have made him a perfectly normal, sane, ordinary person, and sent him to Hollywood. The audience identifies with the lead character.
I write funny. If I can make my wife laugh, I know I'm on the right track. But yes, I don't like to get Maudlin. And I have a tendency towards it.
Mel Brooks is one of the few authentic geniuses working in comedy in America today.