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AFI Life Achievement Award: Mel Brooks
Remind Me

Excavating the 2000 Year Old Man

Comic legends Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks have been keeping the world in stitches for over half a century as writers, producers, actors and directors of some of the greatest television and film comedies ever made. However, it was their comedy routine called "The 2,000 Year Old Man" that these best pals developed together in 1950 as nothing more than a way to entertain their friends at cocktail parties that became one of the most enduring classic comedy bits in history. With Brooks taking on the persona of the oldest living man, Reiner would interview him about any number of topics throughout history. The answers-mostly ad-libbed by Brooks-generated a hilarious exchange between the two as they riffed off each other with irresistible chemistry and impeccable timing. It was the stuff of which comic legends are made.

Excavating the 2,000 Year Old Man takes a highly entertaining look back on the origins of the famous routine and how it evolved from dinner party entertainment among friends to a genuine public phenomenon that generated five hit comedy albums, countless television appearances as well as an animated TV special. The documentary, narrated by Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell, features hilarious clips of Reiner and Brooks in action from television variety shows over the years as well as a 2009 sit-down conversation between Reiner and Brooks who discuss the genesis of their lifelong friendship and the enduring appeal of their priceless contribution to comedy. Also featured are contemporary interviews with comedians including Paul Reiser, Bob Newhart, Garry Shandling and Richard Lewis who reflect on how the 2,000 Year Old Man routine influenced them personally over the years and how it will surely keep audiences laughing for 2,000 years to come.

By Andrea Passafiume



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