Yeah, I know all about Mel Brooks. His shtick is relentless, over-the-top and tasteless in the extreme.
But, damnit, the man makes me laugh.
I spent some time with my Dad today watching a significant chunk of AMC's Mel Brooks Marathon, mostly "History of the World, Part 1." It's loaded with cheap gags and cameo appearances by old-school comics, and it's not the Best of Brooks by any stretch of the imagination. But I yukked it up at the French Revolution section anyway, especially Harvey Korman endlessly hissing at underlings who addressed him as Count Da Money ("Count De Monet! Mo-nay!") I know it was a retread of the running Headley Lamarr/Hedy Lamarr joke in "Blazing Saddles," but it still worked for me.
And this Spanish Inquisition sequence shows us what Brooks does best. Whatever else you might say about him, Mel Brooks knows how to turn out a hummable Tin Pan Alley-esue tune, and how to stage a musical number with a dizzying blend of shameless vulgarity and old-fashioned razzle-dazzle. This number is the best and funniest thing in "History of the World Part 1" and it foreshadows the the kind of dead on, delirious, everything-but-the-kitchen sink musical euphoria that Brooks and director/choreographer Susan Stroman would later bring to the stage musical version of "The Producers". Enjoy.