6 Comedy Western Movies, In Honor of ‘The Lone Ranger’ Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer
Movie #3 – Blazing Saddles
Year – 1974
No list of Comedy Westerns is complete without Blazing Saddles. The Mel Brooks classic is a perennial favorite on “All Time Great” lists – as well it should be. It’s difficult for comedies to stay relevant. Often times you have to view them in some sort of a historical context for their humor to work. I love Abbott & Costello and The Marx Brothers, but if someone were to make movies like those today, they’d most likely be greeted with blank stares.
After writing solo on The Producers and The Twelve Chairs, Brooks decided to return to the “Writers Room” style that he cut his teeth on with Your Show of Shows. He brought in four additional writers including a young Richard Pryor, who Brooks intended to star in the film until the studio deemed him either too controversial or too heavy of a drug user (depending on which piece of apocrypha believe). The five of them worked in tandem to maximize the jokes in every scene – and maximize they did.
It’s this shotgun approach which keeps the film relevant; never relying on one style of comedy for very long. It ricochets from social commentary to film parody to dirty jokes to pratfalls almost effortlessly. It is whip smart, yet silly, and still manages to find room for what is believed to be cinema’s first fart joke.