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‘Saddles’ Revisited

A parody of a spoof of a well-worn formula.

Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By JOHN PODHORETZ
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MacFarlane has no idea how to bring Brooks’s genuinely shocking sensibility up to date—recall that only six years before Blazing Saddles, Brooks came up with the jaw-dropping concept for the “Springtime for Hitler” number in The Producers—because he is far too conventionally minded. His idea of shock value is singing at the Oscars about actresses who have done nude scenes. Back in 1974, when Brooks showed some cowboys sitting around a campfire eating beans and then letting loose, the scene was hilarious because it was so unexpected. Today, you’d be arrested for making a comedy without a scene in which someone passes gas.

Let’s face it—these days, fart jokes just don’t cut it.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, is The Weekly Standard’s movie critic.

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