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Mel Brooks Opens Up About ‘Dear Friend’ Gene Wilder

Mel Brooks Opens Up About ‘Dear Friend’ Gene Wilder

The celebrated filmmaker, who collaborated with Wilder on several projects, eulogizes him on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show

Mel Brooks, the Jewish entertainment polymath with a career spanning over six decades, paid homage to his friend and collaborator in an interview on the "Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday evening. In the interview, an emotional Brooks admitted that he knew Wilder was ill, and that he was “expecting him to go” but said “when it happens it’s still […] a big shock.” He said he was “still reeling, there’s no more Gene, I can’t call him.”

The usually chirpy Fallon seemed entranced by Brooks as he talked about the first time he met Wilder and selling him the role of Leo Bloom in the hit musical "The Producers", before Brooks lightened the mood with stories about "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein", the movie he and Wilders co-wrote.

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