Trivia / Blazing Saddles


  • Acting for Two: Mel Brooks plays the Governor, a Yiddish-speaking Indian Chief that appears in Bart's flashback sequence, and (very briefly) one of the thugs waiting in line to interviewed by Hedley.
  • Actor Allusion: Well, director allusion anyway.
    Taggart: Piss on you, I'm workin' for Mel Brooks!
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Laughs: #6
  • Completely Different Title: Many countries didn't go with the punny title (though Greece expanded with "Boots, spurs and saddles hot"). Latin America was "Madness in the West", Brazil and Portugal had "A Mess in the West", France was "The Sheriff is in Prison", Germany "The Wild Wild West" (in contrast to that show being "The Crazy Wild West"), Finland "Wild Wilder West", Italy "High Noon and a Half of Fire", Turkey "Silver Saddles", and Sweden followed the "Springtime for Hitler" title for The Producers with "Springtime for the Sheriff".
  • Cut Song: Mel Brooks wrote a song called "Bart" which would reveal that character's back-story as a pimp, but it was cut before filming began because he felt it slowed the film down and would make it less likely for audiences to sympathize with his plight.
  • Descended Creator: In addition to his three acting roles, Brooks provided some of the (fake) fart noises during the campfire scene
  • Enforced Method Acting
    • Cleavon Little was not warned about the "you know... morons" line. His reaction was real.
    • Frankie Laine was not informed that the movie was a comedy. Mel Brooks simply told him it was about racism and Laine, assuming it was a serious movie about racism, sang it 100% sincerely. He only found out at the premiere. Brooks said that this helped him develop his distinctive comedy style of complete absurdity played utterly straight.
  • Executive Meddling: They tried, but since Mel's contract said that he had the final cut on the film, he sat through the meeting, taking careful notes of all the changes that they wanted to make, and then when the meeting was over he tossed his notes in the garbage.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Mel Brooks as a Native American chief. This is a reference to the early Hollywood practice of casting "dirty whites" such as Jews and Italians as Native Americans. The role's overt Jewishness also goes along with the theme of kinship between marginalized groups in American history.
    • Jewish-American Madeline Kahn as the very Germanic Lili von Shtupp.
  • Follow the Leader: According to film critic Dave Kehr, this was the first major motion picture to include a fart joke. That fact, assuming it's true, makes it the most influential comic film of all time.
  • Genre-Killer: It was quite a while before anybody took The Western seriously again.
    • Although the genre had already been on its way out for about a decade at that point.
    • Not necessarily out, but the genre had shifted to darker and edgier with Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns. However after this movie nobody would ever take the Western seriously again. More than forty years later there have essentially been only four successful westerns made and each had to turn a lot of the old cliches on their ear: Silverado has an old story line, but there isn't even so much as a mention of Indians and one of the heroes is black. Young Guns and its sequel are basically just villain protagonist action films with an old west setting. Dances with Wolves has the Indians as the good guys who are victimized by the white settlers. Unforgiven is a deconstruction of virtually every Western trope.
  • In Memoriam: After Gene Wilder's death, AMC brought Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and this back to the big screen for a limited time.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Madeline Kahn - a classically-trained opera singer, among her other talents - playing the German Lili Von Schtupp in Blazing Saddles. Lili is extremely popular for her sex appeal, but her singing voice is deep, heavily accented, and mostly off-key. Namely because she's an old-west parody of Marlene Dietrich.
  • Life Imitates Art: It's unlikely if Mel Brooks knew the story, but in Real Life, a black man was named as the postmaster of Punta Gorda, Florida by a man who held a grudge against the town's founders, as a deliberate affront to its Southern sensibilities.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Burton Gilliam (Lyle) was quite reluctant to drop all the N-bombs in the script, until Cleavon Little (Bart) assured Gilliam that he would not be offended as long as he only said it in the movie.
    • Also applied to Harvey Korman, who plays the villain, but in reality had trouble keeping himself in character because of his penchant for corpsing at the slightest provocation.
  • Referenced by...:
  • Money, Dear Boy: While he clearly put his heart and soul into the final product, Brooks readily accepted the directing duties, despite his preference to direct scripts that he, himself, had conceived, because he was completely broke after his first two films bombed.
  • Prop Recycling: At the beginning of the scene in which Mongo awakens chained up in the sheriff's office, when Bart is hanging up posters on the board, there is a wanted poster already hanging up on the wall. This same wanted poster can be seen on the wall in the jail house in Rio Bravo.
  • Recycled Set: The movie was filmed on the same outdoor sets as Westworld.
  • Recycled: The Series: Black Bart was an attempt to bring the movie to TV on CBS, only without the presence of Mel Brooks, Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, or jokes. It never got past the pilot episode in public, but apparently they kept making episodes (WB's intentions were to make the movie into a yearly series much like the Carry On movies in Britain, only for Brooks' contract to say they had to keep making stuff or else lose the rights- the TV show was their way around this) until around 1979, when they realized a sequel most likely wasn't needed. Only the pilot has ever been publicly released, on the Blu-Ray.
  • Signature Scene: Mongo punching out a horse.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Brooks wanted John Wayne for the role of Jim, the Waco Kid. Wayne rejected his offer because the script clashed with his family-friendly screen persona, but he also found it to be hilarious and told Brooks he'd be "first in line" to see the movie.
    • Had Richard Pryor (who contributed to the script) been a more reliable actor and/or not coked out of his mind (Mel Brooks found out the truth of the warnings he'd been given when Pryor called on a day he was supposed to be writing to explain he was actually with a couple of girls in New Jersey), he would have played Bart himself, launching his frequent film partnership with Gene Wilder a couple years before Silver Streak.
    • Wilder himself was a last-minute replacement for Gig Young, who turned up on the set too inebriated to act. Several other actors were considered before Young. This is also quite ironic, given that the Waco Kid is a recovering alcoholic.
    • They nearly missed out on Wilder as well as he was just about to leave for Europe to film his part in The Little Prince. Wilder convinced the director of that movie to rearrange the shooting schedule to allow him to film his scenes at the end of the production in order so that he could do this favor for Brooks.
    • Numerous scenes were cut from the film, including a scene where Bart tricks Mongo into diving for treasure and a scene with the governor touring the fake Rock Ridge with the press. Some of them were used to pad out a censored version of the film that has aired on TV, and are included on the Blu-ray release.
    • Gene Wilder was originally offered the role of Hedley Lamarr, but didn't feel right for it, and told Brooks that he wanted The Waco Kid instead. However, Brooks wanted someone older for The Waco Kid, someone like Dan Dailey. Dailey was originally considered for the role of the Waco Kid, but poor health and declining eyesight forced him to decline.
    • Dom De Luise has claimed that the role of the director of the film-within-a-film, "The French Mistake", was originally meant to be played by Peter Sellers. However, after Brooks endured an exhaustive four-hour audition, he instead cast DeLuise.
    • Brooks also asked Johnny Carson to play the Waco Kid; he refused.
    • The original plan for the film was to have Alan Arkin direct with James Earl Jones playing Bart.
    • The gag of Lili finding out the truth about "[Bart's] people being gifted" originally included the punchline "I hate to disappoint you ma'am, but you're sucking on my arm." The line was so audacious that Mel Brooks himself though it was too much and had it cut.
  • Write What You Know: The gag of Mongo punching a horse in the mouth wasn't just some sophomoric joke the writers tossed up. Mel Brooks had actually seen his former colleague Sid Caesar (who was known for his intimidating stature and violent outburst) do that once.
  • Working Title: Tex X.


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