Mel Brooks Noise

Everyone loves Mel Brooks because he’s amazing and wonderful. He should be given the key to every city and a parade in his honor every day. Short of that, PBS is delivering a documentary meant to celebrate the brilliant comedian who made the funniest movie of all time (Blazing Saddles). Thanks to Pop Candy, we can now watch a slew of famous faces trying to explain what Brooks is all about. We also get to see a limo speeding to a sound stage just in time to stop the show. Hopefully Brooks will interrupt every segment with a song about himself:


Mitt Romney’s comments about PBS and Big Bird during the presidential debate the other night struck a nerve with many a fan of public broadcasting and Sesame Street. And there are a lot of reasons movie fans shouldn’t favor a world without PBS, including all the documentary programming and now a new web series called Shanks FX. Part of PBS Digital Studios, the Internet-only show presents filmmaker and animator Joey Shanks (real name: Joe Schenkenberg) creating cheap and relatively easy practical special effects without a computer. “You don’t need a ton of money to create high-end visual effects,” the synopsis for the series claims. Interestingly, PBS does offer a warning at the beginning of each episode about how Shanks is a professional and viewers shouldn’t try these “activities” at home. Of course, if you’re a teenager hoping to one day become a pro effects artist — so long as non-CGI, “in camera” stuff is still of interest — you’re definitely going to attempt every one of these tricks, and Shanks even lays the episodes out like they’re intended to be instructional.


Why Watch? A brief examination of a growing, brass-filled culture. PBS‘s Off Book series is a wondrous mini-doc collection that examines some fascinating parts about our culture and society. In this installment, they get antique without getting rusty with the growing geek movement or art, music, dance and theater that we know (and love) as Steampunk. It’s a joyous window with a small view into the world, and as an October bonus, there’s even talk of a Steampunk Haunted House. Plus, they close out the doc with 7 Things That Are Better Steampunk’d. Yes, Hello Kitty is involved. What does it cost? Just 5 minutes of your time. Check out the trailer for Off Book: Steampunk for yourself:

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