LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES:  Comedian Mel Brooks points to his Emmy awardat the 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 13 Sept at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.   Brooks won his Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Uncle Phil in "Mad About You". .   AFP PHOTO  Kim KULISH/mn (Photo credit should read KIM KULISH/AFP via Getty Images)
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Mel Brooks' Favorite Spaceballs Gags Started Life With Blazing
Mel Brooks' 1987 sci-fi parody, "Spaceballs," poked fun at the popular "Star Wars" franchise, happily pointing out that the movies had been eclipsed by their own merchandising. During an interview, Brooks reminisced about making "Spaceballs" and how one of his favorite gags from his previous film, "Blazing Saddles," easily ported to his sci-fi cult classic.
"Blazing Saddles" takes place in the town of Rockridge, a peaceful but racist town whose citizens, like Olson, Howard, and Harriett, all share the last name of Johnson. While the joke could have been from an absurdist writer who opted to use a generic name rather than create one for each person, it could have also been a reference to how incestuous Rockridge was.
Over a decade later, the nefarious Dark Helmet from "Spaceballs" would find himself in a similar situation, surrounded by a bridge crew almost entirely comprised of the A**hole family. When Dark Helmet asks, "How many A**holes we got on this ship anyhow?" nearly everyone replies with a "Yo!" prompting the frustrated villain to state, "I knew it. I'm surrounded by a**holes."