Albert Brooks, comedy God

Originally published at: Albert Brooks, comedy God | Boing Boing


I’d like to bring up his amazing role in Refn’s Drive, as a wholly amoral murderous psychopath. I’d quite enjoyed the comic Brooks of Taxi Driver, Broadcast News, Mother (not mother! nor the Bong Joon-Ho), and Out of Sight and was not ready for the character in Drive.

Oblig: his birth name was Albert Einstein, brother to Bob Einstein (“Super Dave Osborne”).


And their father was Parkyakarkus, one of the previous generation’s “comedian’s comedians”. There are few comedy dynasties, but Brooks’s family is one of them.

They’re not exaggerating Brooks’s talents in the trailer. I’m anticipating more laughs in this documentary than in most comedy movies.


He did this one stand-up bit on the Johnny Carson Show. Done up in leotards, he played a French mime who would not shut up. Every single time he was about to do some mime routine, he would immediately stop, switch gears, and tell the audience some inane personal story of this and that and whatever, and continuing on with whatever story he was telling before. And that accent! It went on and on. So simple, yet brilliant and hilarious. I’ve been searching for that part of the show (or at some other venue) for years, but no luck. Damn, it was funny.


Oh, man. I’d forgotten about him in Drive.
Out of Sight is one of my all time favorite crime movies. It follows Elmore Leonard’s book very close.


In Comedy At The Edge by Richard Zoglin there’s a story about how Brooks went to a friend’s birthday party and did a comedy routine about trying to find a gift that had everyone in stitches. Then when he was done he left and was later found wandering the street because he thought no one would want him around once he stopped being funny.

Sorry to be a bit of a downer. I absolutely love Brooks’s comedy and I think part of what makes it so effective, especially in his films, is there’s something deeply honest in his understanding of how laughter and sadness go together.


Lost in America was the first of his performances that made a real impression on me, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Gotta check out these recommendations!

Tuesday Anticipation GIF


“Where do I apply for the high-paying jobs?”

“From now on, you cannot use the words nest or egg! That bird lives in a round stick!”



The exchange with the casino boss is also one of the highlights.

1 Like

C’mon, 22! 22! 22!


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.