Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman never worked with Mel Brooks, and the Oscar winners came to a ceremony in his honor to let him know they resent it.
Brooks received the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award Thursday, and Freeman and De Niro were among a galaxy of stars who paid tribute to the man behind Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers.
Martin Short opened the program with a song-and-dance routine set to a medley of melodies from Brooks’ films.
“The word genius is used a lot in Hollywood, so I might as well call Mel one,” Short said.
Billy Crystal, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Larry David, and Carl Reiner also honored the 86-year-old filmmaker at a private dinner at the Dolby Theatre that had the energy of a good-natured roast.
“We are going to miss you so much, Mel,” Kimmel said. “You were one of the greats. Rest in peace, my friend.” READ FULL STORY