These days, Judd Apatow is the man behind the laughs. He has been comedy gold lately, reinvigorating the struggling world of comedic cinema and offering a selection of laughs you can rely on. It's nice to be able to go to a "funny" flick and be sure that you'll at least laugh a few times, instead of head out for hi-jinx and spend an hour and twenty minutes in awkward silence, desperately yearning for even the slightest chuckle.

Thirty-something years ago, the laugh man was Mel Brooks. He brought the comedy, and he even brought the art. How many comedic filmmakers today would dare to make a silent movie (aside from Guy Maddin), or do the world of Frankenstein comedic justice? I've gushed over the wonder that is Young Frankenstein before, so today, I'm leaving it up to some other blast-to-the-past spoof comedy -- Blazing Saddles and The History of the World: Part I.

Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles - Trailer

Ah, the good old days when spoofs were actually funny, and not in a one-time chuckle way, but in a truly funny, classic way. Hedley Lemar wants his railroad to go through Rock Ridge, so he sends his bad guys in to wreak havoc and make the residents leave. He then convinces the Governor to hire the first black sheriff of the Old West -- hoping that this will lead the residents to revolt or leave. Of course, Bart is more than he bargained for, and with the help of The Waco Kid, the town gets a fighting chance.

You can't go wrong with Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, and Mel Brooks. It's smart spoofing, with the best of the best. It even bursts through the fourth wall! And really, we're lucky to have it, between Richard Pryor being shooed out for his drugging ways from the lead role, to Gig Young's alcoholism paving the way for Gene Wilder. (Yes, it was almost an early Stir Crazy!)

DVD Perks: Check out the 30th Anniversary Edition for a bunch of extra goodies plus a tribute to the wonderful Madeline Kahn and the TV pilot for Black Bart.

Blazing Saddles Lego!

Nothing says comedy like beans and flatulence.

Bart meets The Waco Kid.

We don't need no stinking badges!

History of the World: Part I

Click on the picture above to head to the trailer.

As the trailer says: "From the naked dawn of man, to the magnificence of the bible. From the glory that was Rome, to the dark evils of the Spanish Inquisition, to the French Revolution with its squalor and its splendor, History of the World, Part I." That's pretty much all it is -- the early history of the world as seen through Mel Brooks' comedic eyes.

And again, this is another great spoof, from i's wonderful actors -- Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Kahn and Korman again, Cloris Leachman, Gregory Hines, Sid Caesar, and ORSON WELLES, to the never-fulfilled series that will always, and only, have Part I. It's also another film that Pryor lost, this time for his famous drug accident.


The Stone Age

We are about to confront... guuuuys.

That saucy Bernaise.