I’m in tears thinking about Madeline. What an incredibly gifted gift from God, Madeline Kahn. The funniest and most talented comedienne I think, including people like Carol Burnett, who are great, you know, and Gilda Radner who was magnificent. But nobody — listen to me, David Bianculli — nobody could approach the magnificence and wonder of Madeline Kahn.
“She was really a great gift to us all. … I saw art [in her], not just funny. But I saw a person who was gifted with art. She’s the only one who actually could have worked in opera as an opera singer, as a coloratura. She was that talented. Or I think she could have worked as a longshoreman in New Jersey. I don’t think there’s anything that Madeline Kahn couldn’t do.
Listen to a Mel Brooks interview here. And don’t forget to watch Mel Brooks: Make a Noise tonight 9m central standard time on PBS! Can’t tune in/overseas? Fear not it is being released on dvd. You can purchase it on places like Amazon.
Madeline Kahn’s character in Neil Simon’s The Cheap Detective (1978) was inspired by Mary Astor’s character in The Maltese Falcon (1941). The Cheap Detective featured various Humphrey Bogart film parody scenes including Casablanca (1942) as well.
Madeline Kahn with her People’s Choice Award for Best Actress in a New Television Series
Madeline Kahn behind the scenes on the Hello Dolly tour, 1992
Madeline Kahn and Dom Deluise in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975) and History of the World Part 1 (1981)