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I hope you’re sitting down because what is about to happen may shock you: you’re about to agree with something Whoopi Goldberg said.
I know, I was startled by this as well.
Goldberg and cohorts on The View were broadcasting to muted television sets in dentists’ waiting rooms across the nation, and they touched on classic comedies.
The topic was inspired by The Office’s Mindy Kaling saying the show couldn’t be made today. This led to a discussion of the 1974 Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles. which has faced calls for cancellation from people who have too much time on their hands and probably haven’t even seen it.
On the off chance, you haven’t seen it (I mean you’ve only had 48 years to cross it off your list), the film focuses on a politician sending a Black sheriff to an old west town because he thinks it’ll ruin the town.
Blazing Saddles Has Faced Cancellation Before
The legendary Gene Wilder vehicle has faced (dumb) accusations of racism over the years. But Whoopi Goldberg — who quit Twitter last month to stick it to Elon Musk — defended the movie.
“It deals with racism by coming at it right straight out front, making you think and laugh about it, because, listen, it’s not just racism, it’s all the isms, he hits all the isms,” Goldberg said.
Race is at the center of a lot of the film’s comedy. That shouldn’t be a shock seeing as Richard Pryor had a hand in the screenplay along with Brooks and a few others. At one point had been lined up to play the Black sheriff, Bart, which was played brilliantly by actor Cleavon Little.
“Blazing Saddles, because it’s a great comedy, would still go over today. There are a lot of comedies that are not good, okay? We’re just going to say that. That’s not one of them. Blazing Saddles is one of the greatest because it hits everybody,”
Whoopi Goldberg May Actually Understand A Key Part Of Comedy
These days, people tend to mistake the subject of jokes for the target of the jokes. Just because a joke involves race doesn’t instantly make it racist. A joke can have racial subject matter but not be making fun of a specific race.
Blazing Saddles is full of perfect examples of this.
In Blazing Saddles, the overwhelming majority of the time, jokes that involve race are taking aim at racists.
If Whoopi Goldberg can catch on to that, anyone who can’t comprehend that concept is either ignorant or just trying to be difficult.
The View’s panel of esteemed blow-hards did touch on how sometimes pushing the boundaries is important for creating compelling characters.
Joy Behar submitted Archie Bunker from All in the Family for her co-hosts’ approval.
“You take away Archie’s bigotry, you don’t have a character,” she said.
“If you’ve never seen Blazing Saddles, you should do yourself a favor, get some popcorn, get a glass of wine, and put it on, because it’s magnificent,” Goldberg told the audience of tourists and people who had nothing better to do on a weekday morning than see a taping of The View.
Whoopi bookended the segment with a warning to those who might want to cancel the Mel Brooks masterpiece.
“Leave my Blazing Saddles alone. Don’t make me come for you,” she warned.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this and I might have a tough time choking it out like Arthur Fonzarelli admitting he’s wrong, but I’m with you on this one, Whoop.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle