Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Movie Quote of the Day (‘Blazing Saddles,’ on Messing With ‘This Mongo Character’)

Bart [played by Cleavon Little]: “I better go check out this Mongo character.”

[Bart reaches for his gun.]

Jim [played by Gene Wilder]: “Oh no, don't do that, don't do that. If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad.”— Blazing Saddles (1974), story by Andrew Bergman, screenplay by Mel Brooks, Norman Steinberg, Andrew Bergman, Richard Pryor, and Alan Uger, directed by Mel Brooks

What might make Jim say a thing like that? Maybe because Mongo (played by ex-NFL legend Alex Karras, pictured) is strong enough and crazy enough to punch out a horse?

Blazing Saddles, premiering 50 years ago today, is among the most uproarious farces in the Mel Brooks filmography. I have briefly posted several times before on this: about its wacky homage to western hero Randolph Scott, Brooks’ filming of the hilarious campfire scene, and how Gene Wilder replaced the alcoholic Gig Young in the role of Jim.

Maybe at some point, I’ll pay tribute to Madeleine Kahn’s great Marlene Dietrich parody. But today, I think I’ll take note of how Mongo was played to the hilt by Karras—described by Brooks, in a 2016 interview with TMZ, as “"very bright, very creative, very fun on the set….He didn't actually do any passing of gas, but he did everything else."

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