Comedian Mel Brooks.
Movies - TV
One Key To
Mel Brooks' Comedy Was Knowing Exactly When To Break The Fourth Wall
Mel Brooks is one of the best directors of the 20th century, and one reason for his success was knowing when to push the boundaries of comedy. One of the filmmaker’s most successful techniques to get a good belly laugh was breaking the fourth wall, and in an interview, Brooks revealed his thought process behind using the controversial technique.
When asked how he judges when to break the fourth wall, Brooks said, “That may be in your bones, to know, O.K., it’s time to shatter the illusion of make-believe and bring it into the real world — because it’s going to get a big laugh, and a big laugh is worth a lot.” However, it’s a tool to be used sparingly because if you use it too often, you’ll render it ineffective.
Brooks’ use of breaking the fourth wall always comes off as refreshing and is sure to engage the audience. Brooks cited his film “High Anxiety” — in which “the camera get[s] closer and closer and closer to the glass door and then finally […] it shatters the door, and everyone at the table turns” — as a unique and hilarious example of breaking the fourth wall.