The director will be honored for his work on "Blazing Saddles" and "The Producers"
Martin Scorsese and Mel Brooks are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. Although both men are film legends, their styles and subject matter are worlds apart — one is associated with gritty depictions of criminality while the other is best known for his pioneering fart jokes.
The two men will share the same stage, however, on June 6, when Scorsese will present Brooks with the American Film Institute’s 41st Life Achievement Award. The award is one of the highest honors for a career in film and has been handed out in the past to such notable directors and actors as Kirk Douglas, Bette Davis, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Robert De Niro and Scorsese himself.
Brooks is being honored for a career that has spanned television, film and the Broadway stage. He is the creative force behind such comedy classics as "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein" and the film and stage versions of "The Producers."
At 86, Brooks recently told TheWrap he has no interest in retiring. He's toying with turning "Blazing Saddles" into a Broadway play and is trying to film a slasher movie called "Pizza Man" with Cary Elwes.
The private black tie gala will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on June 6 and will be broadcast on TNT on Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It will be shown again as part of an all-night tribute to Brooks on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, July 24, at 8 p.m. ET.
"For over 50 years, Mel Brooks has given the world its greatest gift – laughter," Sir Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, said in a statement. "At the American Film Institute, we also want to shine a proper light on his contributions to the art form as writer, producer, director and actor – and who better to bestow this honor than one of the masters of American film, Martin Scorsese."