NEW YORK (AFP): Better late than never: More than 40 years after Mel Brooks released his slapstick movie “History of the World: Part 1,” the 96-year-old has finally served up part two.
The sequel to the cult 1981 film that parodies religion and key moments in history can be seen on the American streaming platform Hulu starting Monday in series format.
Brooks lends his voice to eight episodes of “History of the World, Part II,” which he produced and co-wrote with actors Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and Wanda Sykes.
“His comedy mind is still so sharp. I mean, the guy has an insane life force and he’s still got jokes,” Kroll said last month about Brooks, whose career began in the 1940s.
“History of the World: Part 1” enjoyed worldwide success for its often crude jokes that lampooned historical figures from the Stone Age to the French Revolution.
Brooks played a clumsy Moses who dropped and smashed a stone containing more commandments than the ten that appear in the bible, a satirical Roman Empire character called Comicus, and a lecherous Louis XVI who used his position to harass women.
The film ended with an announcement that there would be a sequel featuring an ice-skating Hitler.
Forty-two years later, the New York-born Brooks has kept his promise.
Born in 1926 to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, Brooks has spent his life mocking Hitler in various productions, including his hit musical “The Producers.”
“History of the World, Part II,” revisits the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the invention of the telephone, the US Civil War, the Russian Revolution, and the allied invasion of Normandy.
Brooks is one of the few entertainers to have won the “EGOT” — an Emmy Award for television, a Grammy Award for music, an Oscar for film and a Tony Award for stage.
Between puns, misunderstandings and funny anachronisms, Brooks’ distinctive farcical humor is updated for the age of social media in his latest offering.
Viewers are invited to the writing sessions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the photo session of the Yalta conference with victorious World War II leaders Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.
They are even taken behind the scenes of negotiations in the Middle East peace process.
“I personally think right now in comedy you can still say and do insane things,” said Kroll.
“You just have to be a little more thoughtful about how and why you’re saying them,” he added.