Comedy legend Mel Brooks opens up about life in show business in new autobiography, 'All About Me'

He told "GMA" that ever since he was a kid, he always loved performing.

November 29, 2021, 8:49 AM

Comedy legend Mel Brooks is opening up about his remarkable life in show business in his new autobiography, “All About Me! My Remarkable Life in Show Business.”

The award-winning writer, producer, director and actor takes readers on the journey of a lifetime from his childhood to his adventures in the entertainment industry.

Brooks told “Good Morning America” that ever since he was a kid, he always loved performing.

“I was a showoff,” he said. “Ever since I can remember. And I would -- I remember I once sang ‘You musta been a beautiful baby.’ I was just a little kid and I was singing it in class. And my teacher heard me … And I was taken all over the school to sing, ‘You must’ve been a beautiful baby.’”

Brooks, 95, began his career in television as a writer in 1950 on Sid Caesar’s variety series, “Your Show of Shows.” The comedian said the show was his “entry into show business.”

But long before he began writing for Sid Caesar, Brooks was writing as a young corporal in the army. He ended up writing a column for a troop ship’s newspaper.

"There was a ship's newspaper and I wrote a column called 'My Floating Day', a takeoff on Eleanor Roosevelt who had a column -- her column was called 'My Day,'" Brooks said. "She would talk about what was happening. I wrote about crap games and smells."

Brooks began his movie career with one of his most well-known films, "The Producers." His "original title" for the movie was "Springtime for Hitler."

“That was the original title,” Brooks said. “Couldn’t have a better title, except producer Joseph E. Levine said, ‘A lot of exhibitors are Jewish and they’ve called me and said they’re simply not going to put Hitler on the marquee. There’s no -- you gotta come up with another title.’”

“The Producers” was the first movie Brooks directed. It won him an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1969. Over 30 years later, he created “The Producers” Broadway musical -- which won 12 Tony awards and still holds the record for most Tony Awards received by a single production.

Amid all his successes, Brooks said there have also been plenty of failures. But he said he never let those moments get him down.

“You never saw me in the mountains leaving the stage amid a chorus of boos,” Brooks said. “When I was doing bad jokes, when I had not yet found my way, reality was my way. Tell the truth.”