Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks Sing “Sweet Georgia Brown” Live…and in Polish

The Cap­tain and Tenille. 

Son­ny and Cher.

Shields and Yarnell.

Ban­croft and Brooks?

Not exact­ly, but one thing’s cer­tain. Had mar­ried cou­ple Anne Ban­croft and Mel Brooks under­tak­en to co-host a tele­vi­sion vari­ety show in the 70’s or 80’s, they would’ve mopped up the era’s com­pe­ti­tion faster than you can say Mr Clean Sun­shine Fresh.

Our best evi­dence is this clip from the 1983 Brooks-host­ed episode of the BBC vari­ety hour, An Audi­ence with…  All the tropes of the once pop­u­lar form—the celebri­ty ‘as audi­ence plant, the staged spon­tane­ity, the audi­ence eager­ly fol­low­ing direction—are on dis­play in the lead up to the big pay off, a light-foot­ed live ren­di­tion of Sweet Geor­gia Brown…in heav­i­ly accent­ed Pol­ish.

It def­i­nite­ly leaves one want­i­ng more. (In which case, you could try your luck with Brooks’ remake of To Be or Not to Be, in which he and Ban­croft play roles orig­i­nat­ed by Jack Ben­ny and Car­ole Lom­bard).

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Crit­ic: Hilar­i­ous Oscar-Win­ning Film Nar­rat­ed by Mel Brooks (1963)

John­ny Cash: Singer, Out­law, and, Briefly, Tele­vi­sion Host

Woody Allen Box­es a Kan­ga­roo, 1966

Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s will be per­form­ing live in Brook­lyn Brain Frame lat­er this month.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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Comments (4)
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  • Adam says:

    O kur­czę niesamowite! means: geep­ers it’s incred­i­ble! ;)

  • Oh, what a pair! Thir­ty years ago, and it breaks my heart to think of the love, gone for­ev­er. Hap­pened to me, too: but we could nev­er have shown this kind of chutz­pah, nor giv­en the world such absolute plea­sure. Such tal­ent, and so diverse — yet blend­ing so well. That’s mar­riage for yer …

  • Melissa says:

    I’m a first gen­er­a­tion Pol­ish-Amer­i­can on my moth­er’s side (3rd gen­er­a­tion Pol­ish-Amer­i­can on my dad’s). We all love Mel Brooks. My mom’s favorite scene in any Mel Brooks movie is in To Be or Not To Be, at the begin­ning where they sing in Pol­ish at the begin­ning. I wish I could show this to her right now!

  • Melissa says:

    I also remem­ber this spe­cial behind-the-scenes thing I saw when he first was going to put the Pro­duc­ers on Broad­way. I remem­ber how he kept on show­ing off that Anne Ban­croft was his wife. He kept on say­ing “Myyyyy wife. Annnnne Ban­croft” It was very cute. lol

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