Episode #1418

Mel Brooks & Big Band Brooklyn

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Mel Brooks Mel Brooks (Michael Grecco)

How did a poor kid from Brooklyn escape life as a shipping clerk and instead become Mel Brooks? Even Mel Brooks isn’t too sure, but “If you’ve got your mother’s love,” he tells Kurt Andersen, “you can’t go wrong.” Meanwhile, jazz composer Darcy James Argue conjures another, imaginary Brooklyn in an epic work for big band that’s a “total sensory overload.” And we’ll see how architects have tried to heal the memory of trauma at buildings like Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The 2,000 Year Old Man

It began as a time-filler during a lull in the writer’s room; became a favorite party gag; then was captured on a 1961 album — “the comedian’s Bible,” says Billy Crystal. Carl Reiner, as the straight-man interviewer, would paint Mel Brooks, his millennia-old guest, into a corner, and Brooks ...

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Mel Brooks and The Comedy of Humanity

Mel Brooks still writes comedy, but his main business is collecting awards. He’s an “EGOT,” one of only a dozen or so people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, and he’s had no trouble settling into a stream of never-ending accolades. In May, one more arrives on PBS ...

Bonus Track: How Gene Shalit saved Brooks' career

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Darcy James Argue's Big Band

Darcy James Argue’s new album Brooklyn Babylon is one of the most anticipated jazz albums of the year. But Argue wondered if he should even record it. “I thought long and hard whether this would work as a record,” he tells Kurt Andersen, because Brooklyn Babylon was originally a score ...

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Can Trauma Be Healed With Design?

When tragedy strikes someplace as sensitive as a school, what should be done with the building afterward? Destroy it? Make it a memorial to the victims? Or occupy it again, and wait for new generations of students to forget what took place? A task force in Newtown, Connecticut ...

Slideshow: The New Columbine High School

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shahida begum from USA

you can’t go wrong.” Meanwhile, jazz composer Darcy James Argue conjures

Dec. 08 2013 10:19 PM

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