Mel Brooks on why he makes all those Hitler jokes:
Rhetoric does not get you anywhere, because Hitler and Mussolini are just as good at rhetoric. But if you can bring these people down with comedy, they stand no chance.
Roger Ebert liked to tell a story about a day where he was with Mel on an elevator shortly after the premiere of The Producers. A lady joined them, recognized Mel, and said, "Mr. Brooks, your new film is positively vulgar!" Mel beamed at her and replied, "Lady, it rises below vulgarity."
While working as a minesweeper in the Battle of the Bulge, he countered German propaganda songs being blasted at his unit with an Al Jolson record.