Could Mel Brooks’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ be revived today? The minds behind “History of the World, Part II” are added

Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, and Ike Barinholtz write and act in History of the World, Part II. (Photo: Courtesy of Hulu)

Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes and Ike Barinholtz are executive producers, writers and stars History of the World, Part II. (Photo: Courtesy of Hulu)

How’s that for making history? Now that Ike Barinholtz, Nick Kroll and Wanda Sykes have successfully helmed the four-decade sequel History of the World, Part II – a revival of Mel Brooks’ 1981 sketch comedy film – the trio are ready to exclusively reveal to Yahoo Entertainment that they are reviving another old Brooks comedy: 1974 Flaming Saddles.

“It’s done, sold and filmed,” Barinholtz teases of her take on one of the most controversial comedies of all time. “It’s coming to Hulu on April 14th!”

Watch our interview with the cast and creators of History of the World, Part II on Youtube

OK, OK… so maybe we’ll jump ahead a little. Blazing Saddles II: Return to Rock Ridge is not The far in production. In fact, it will almost certainly never be made. But for the record, Sykes thinks she and she Story Staff are the right people to make it happen should a streaming service ever be brave enough to bring it Flaming Saddles return.

“That would be a lot of fun,” the actress and comedian, who served as executive producer, writer and star on the eight-part episode history of the world Continued alongside Barinholtz and Kroll – says. “We should tell Mel that!”

“We’ll see him later tonight,” adds Barinholtz. “Let’s get him some drinks and get him drunk.”

Gene Wilder and Clevon Little in Blazing Saddles. (Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection)

Gene Wilder and Clevon Little in the 1974 comedy directed by Mel Brooks Flaming Saddles. (Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection)

Not for nothing, but the trio have even landed their roles in the sequel. Sykes would take on Cleavon Little as Rock Ridge Enforcer, Sheriff Bart; Kroll would be Gene Wilder’s drunken gunslinger, the Waco Kid; and Barinholtz would don Harvey Korman’s black suit as the scheming Attorney General Hedley—not Hedy! — Lamarr.

Written by Brooks and a team of writers including the late, great Richard Pryor, Flaming Saddles remains the 96-year-old director’s biggest box-office hit and was also nominated for three Oscars. A bawdy and irreverent satire on classic Hollywood westerns and then-contemporary race relations, the film was already controversial when it premiered in theaters in 1974. Brooks has said over the years that Warner Bros. didn’t want to release the film at all. Almost five decades later Flaming Saddles is regularly quoted — often by the filmmaker himself – as a film that could never be made by a major American studio.

“I don’t know if you could still do that today,” she agrees History of the World, Part II Actor, Jay Ellis. “It seems like it’s going to be quite difficult to pull off.”

That is, the Unsure Star claims he would at least consider playing Sheriff Bart if that were the case Story Behind it is the creative team. “If there’s a studio out there that would greenlight it, I would,” says Ellis, laughing. “Because we all jump into the fire together; we are literally all on fire together for this one! This is such a collaborative group, so if there’s any opportunity to do something that would probably be on people’s radar and drive them a little crazy, 100% I’d jump in there and do it.”

It is worth noting that a TV version of Flaming Saddles already exists. In 1975, CBS aired the pilot black beard – one of the working titles for the film – with Louis Gossett Jr. in Little’s role. While it only aired once on network television, The episode is readily available on YouTube and was also released as a DVD bonus feature. (At one point, CBS was rumored to be producing several black beard episodes, but that has since been debunked.)

By the way, Sykes is willing to share the role of Sheriff Bart with Ellis if they ever get one Flaming Saddles Reboot from the ground. “Both would be good Barts,” says Barinholtz. “Maybe it’s because of that,” Kroll adds in real-time, “Eureka!” Moment. “It’s two sheriffs sharing one [job]. And they run the NYPD!”

Pamela Stephenson and Mel Brooks in History of the World, Part 1. (Photo: ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Pamela Stephenson and Mel Brooks will be there History of the world part 1. (Photo: ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

While this kind of creative tinkering might sound sacrilegious for old-school Brooks fans, it’s also necessary when updating some of the more contemporary comedies to the present day. History of the World, Part II makes some changes compared to its predecessor, especially in the portrayal of the female characters. While the 1981 original is full of hilarious actresses – from Madeline Kahn to Pamela Stephenson – they are also the butt of both raunchy and crude jokes more often than their male counterparts. The sequel, on the other hand, strives to be a sinner of equality.

“Our job is to balance the things we love about Mel’s films with a modern sensibility,” he affirms Story Director Alice Mathias. “It’s not just about our cultural landscape and tastes, it’s also about what’s funny and what’s already been done. We basically went back to his films and dialed in on the ins and outs of his filmmaking that are so special – like all the slapstick body comedies – and go, ‘How can we make it feel fresh and relevant?’ “

As one of the many funny women in History of the World, Part II, Zazie Beetz appreciated that this time the show’s creative team made an effort to spread the grittier jokes between the sexes. “Obviously it was a different time when this movie came out,” he says Atlanta Star who plays Mary Magdalene alongside Ellis’ Jesus of Nazareth. “We’ve grown in our sense of humor. As a woman, it’s nice not only to be confronted with strongly sexualized humor. But those were times, I suppose!” And now those times are literal Story.

History of the World, Part II Premiered March 6 on Hulu. Could Mel Brooks’ ‘Blazing Saddles’ be revived today? The minds behind “History of the World, Part II” are added

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