Last Veteran's Day on November 11, 2014 I posted a story on Jimmy Stewart and his military experience. Now that it is Memorial Day, I figured I'd post an interesting story about Mel Brooks and his time in the military during World War II...
Mel Brooks is best known for his award-winning comedy films such as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. But Brooks was also a combat veteran of World War II who fought under General Patton in the Battle of the Bulge: a four-week-long battle that resulted in the death of over 60,000 Allied troops.
Brooks, who was studying psychology at Brooklyn College at the time, was drafted into the Army and sent to war as a combat engineer in the 1104 Combat Engineer Battalion, 78th Infantry Division. During his time in the Army, Brooks was primarily responsible for disarming land mines.
While fighting in Germany, Brooks often heard Nazi propaganda being played from loudspeakers, which must have really got on his nerves because he went about creating his own speaker system to play Al Jolson, a Jewish singer, back at the Nazis, according to Military.
Brooks, when asked about his time at war, said, “War isn’t hell . . . War is loud. Much too noisy. All those shells and bombs going off around you. Never mind death. A man could lose his hearing.”
So the next time you watch Spaceballs, remember that Mel Brooks once fought Nazis with music because apparently he really hated how loud warfare was...