If our P-spotting machine is one thing, it's timely. So today, we bring you this bit of unconfirmed aviation spying: Mel Gibson's Gulfstream V, from Adelaide International to Santa Monica Airport, some days back. Even more fortuitous? This letter addressed to Mel Gibson from Mel Brooks, which just happened to fall into our laps:
Dear Mel (Gibson),
I have never written a letter like this in my life--NEVER! I know that's what everyone says at the beginning of one of these, but for me--it's really true. In light of the fact that we have not yet been formally introduced, I can see how this might come off as presumptuous; you might even be saying to yourself "Brooks? Who is this Brooks character? Never heard of him." But I promise you, my boy, I mean little-to-no offense. Actually, it was only recently that your existence was brought to my attention. Word travels pretty slowly here on Producers Island--I blame the fan mail, which clogs up Billy's desk like you wouldn't believe, and we never hear about anything going on in the world until years, sometimes decades later. Just last week I said to him, "Billy! Billy, my boy, where is that invoice from Katz's Deli? The one about paying our tab?
And Billy--Billy's our mail boy, great kid, just the best, for a goy--goes back to his desk and he's looking and he's sifting and he's looking and finally he says to me, "Here it is, boss." And I say to him, "Billy, Billy, my boy, this is from January--'86!" And he says to me "Gee, boss, I'm sorry, it's just that I've been so busy with the fan mail and everything, I guess it just got put to the side. And I say to him "Billy, Billy I'm going to tell you a story. When my mother was a little girl in Russia, she had a pen pal. Now this wasn't just any pen pal, it was a very special pen pal. Do you know who it was? It was Queen Elizabeth! Actually, back then, she was just known as Lizzy, but you get what I'm saying. So, my mother had this pen pal, allllll the way in England. That's very far from Russia, Billy. Very far. And they would write to each other EVERY DAY. Now, as you might've guessed, my mother was not from a rich family; in fact, she "came from nothing," as some like to say. Potatoes were a luxury but sheets of paper? Seven sheets of paper, every week? Unheard of, Billy! Unheard of. But my mother, God bless her soul, managed to scrape together 2 rubles each week and write to the Queen. Now, Billy, this went on for years. Years! From 1932 to about 1938, '39, give or take a few months, my mother would go to school, milk her cows, and write to the Queen. Like clockwork, every day. Every day, Billy! Now, in 1938, '39, give or take a few months, something happened in Europe, Billy. I don't want to upset you or give you the willies so I'll just paraphrase the work of a friend of mine (his name is Eli Wiesel, but we call him The Dubya--no relation) and say, "Things got bad for the Jews." And so my mother, a little bubelah of a Jew, had to get out of Russia, as fast as her little legs could carry her. So my mother's running and she's hiding and she's running for a very, very long time Billy. And you'd think that with the "situation" at hand, my mother would have to put the pen pal business on hold. But you would think WRONG, Billy. WRONG, my boy! My mother would write the Queen every single day. And the Queen would do the same. Years later, my mother would say, "Melvin, I want to tell you something. Do you know how I survived the war? Not on will alone, my boy. Not on will alone at all. It was the letters." And you want to know the best part, Billy? They both got their mail on time!" So, like I was saying, it was just recently that I was made aware of your existence, Mel, my boy. I hear you just made a movie called Lethal Weapon. Sounds a bit violent for my taste but I wish you the best of luck with it. Also, and not to quibble over semantics here, but I have to say that I think most weapons, when used accurately, are considered "lethal," no? A gun, a bomb, a bow and arrow? They can all kill when used properly. Oh my, did I just say "a bow and arrow"? Oh, Mel, your mother always told you, "A lady never reveals her age via historically dated weapon!" I'm talking about me, not you.
But I digress. Anyway, you're probably wondering why I've written you, no? Well I'm not going to mine words here: I have a problem and there's really no point in dancing around the fact that you're to blame. I lead a pretty humble, quiet life, despite the seemingly endless amount of hype, of late. My hobbies include theater, films, and the never ending quest to find the perfect piece of lox. That's it. Finito. The whole lot of it. To be honest, it's actually getting a little old, but when every one expects you to act a certain way, to have that hit, to find the piece of fish, what are you supposed to do? I know what you're thinking, "Who cares what other people think of you, Mel, you're your own man!" But that's easy for you to say, you're not me--you don't have the fan base I've accrued and if you wanted to, I don't know, open up a corner bakery or a pork product business, you probably could. And I say that completely without judgment--my mother was a judger and I always said, "I'm never going to be like that." Actually, though, if we're going to really look each other in the eye, I've got a secret that I've been dying to get off my chest: I would love to try a piece of that forbidden animal [wink , wink]; that Charlotte's Web-type character [wink , wink, wink], if you will. Okay, I'm just going to say it: bacon, sausage, a piece of glazed ham...the whole gestalt. It's all I can think about! My mind is exploding just writing those savory words here now. Exploding! But that's all kind of just fantasy-talk and I (somewhat bitterly) know that it will never happen. I've been pigeonholed by my religion and it's too late to get out of now. It would be like Paris Hilton deciding she was sick of whoring it up and settling down and having a litter (with one guy!) and driving a minivan--it's not going to happen because the people won't allow it (and also because that girl's pretty damn skanky). Did I just use the term 'skanky'? Gosh, Mel, you're certainly let your claws hang out, today! I'm talking about me, not you.
Okay, back to my problem with you. A couple days ago, I went to Shabbat services with a good friend of mine, Larry David. Afterwards, we went over for Oneg Shabbat at the Rabbi's house--it's what the goys would call an "after party." And I'm standing in a circle with David, Seinfeld, the Rabbi and a bunch of other Yids you probably wouldn't know, and I'm telling one of my best jokes. I'm actually going to go out on a limb and say it is my best joke. And I'm about to get to the punch and the Rabbi goes to David, "I bet the real Mel wouldn't find this kind of New York humor funny." And I'm so stunned that I just have to stop in the middle of my joke--which I never do, NEVER--and I say to the Rabbi, "Excuse me, Rabbi, the real Mel? Who exactly do you think brought the chocolate rugelach tonight, the fake one?" I was planning on tearing him to shreds with my bare hands--or vicious rhetoric, whichever came first--,but I decided to let him live a few seconds more so I could let him inform me of the particulars about, well...you know. How you're "very successful in the film business." How you've had the privilege of working with Danny Glover. How you were once a man "without a face." Blah blah blah. So I'm listening--or pretending to listen, but really dreaming about my mother's brisket--and I'm thinking, "Great. Like I give a shit." Because, really, I didn't. All that stuff sounds nice, but it's not really my shtik. But then, the Rabbi starts talking about how you've had some derisive words to say about us, the Jews. And then, I start to get angry. Really angry. As angry as Mel Brooks's capable of getting (I'd say it registers as "miffed" on the average person). I'm sure you can guess what the source of this fury was, but just so we're clear, I'll tell you what I told the Rabbi and any one else who would listen now: I'm the only Mel who makes fun of Jews, you gentilian pipsqueak!
I'm sorry. I didn't mean for that to come at you like an attack, it's just that it's been something that's been building up in me for some time and when you're a guy like me, and you're not "supposed" to get angry, well, that thing starts to fester. Okay, now that that's off my chest, you should know that I really don't have a problem with you, per se. I don't! On my mother's brisket, that's true. I'm a big fan of you work and, to tell you the truth, find a lot of passion in it. Passion that is so strong it seems like it comes from some sort of Godly place, or that kid that you're always going on about, what's his name? Jesse? Anyway, like I said, no problem with you, per se. But what I do have a problem with is this business with the name and, concurrently, the fact that you're making Jew jokes. Thing is, and I know this is going to sound ridiculous to someone your age, but I've been "The Mel Who Makes Jew Jokes" since before you were even an idea in your parents' head. And around here, we have something called finders keepers (losers weepers). We also have something called Intellectual Property Law but I don't think we need to bring the snakes into the garden, just yet. Anyway, like I was saying, I'm Mel. And I'm the only Mel who makes Jew jokes. And I think you're great, I really do, but we just can't have two public figures named Mel who both makes jokes about Jews. It's bad for publicity, it confuses people, and, to be honest, I have a new spoof coming out called "Auschwitz: Was it Really That Bad?" and I don't want to think about the press-junket headache that would be.
In sum, I got no problem with you, the man. But I do have a problem with you using my name when you're insisting on also treading on my routine. Perhaps you could start going by just Gibson; P.Diddy dropped the 'P' and look what a superstar that guy is! Or maybe you could just change the first letter--Hel? That's a good one, no? Tel? Like that Penn and Teller fellow? Think it over. But seriously, no more of this two-Mel, same jokes BS. Keep it up and you'll be looking at the business end of a messy, unofficial, he's-kind-of-old-for-this-isn't he bris. Cut it out. I mean it. Or, seriously, I'll cut you.
Nobody messes with Mel. I'm talking about me, not you.