Powered by i.TV
October 1, 2014

Happy birthday, Albert Brooks - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 22nd 2007 3:06PM

Albert BrooksAlbert Brooks turns 60 today.

Brooks is mostly known for his films (Defending Your Life, Modern Romance), but he was also a favorite guest of folks like Carson and Letterman back in the '80s. He never quite gained the notoriety of some of his contemporaries, but his reputation as a "comedian's comedian" and a little something called "actual talent" has kept him out of obscurity -- and deservedly so, because he's one of the smartest and funniest people working today, even if he is a few steps outside the limelight.

Younger folks know him best for his various guest roles on The Simpsons, one of which I've posted below along with an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (in two parts).

Brooks was one of --if not the only-- guest star on The Simpsons who was allowed to ad lib a lot of his own dialogue, which I think speaks volumes for his ability as a writer, actor and comedian. A lot of funny people have appeared on The Simpsons, but I think very few would be afforded the kind of freedom Brooks has been. He also appears in the Simpsons Movie, which premieres this Friday.

I especially love the Letterman clip, because Letterman really seems to be enjoying himself. It's less of an interview and more like two making each other laugh. I've watched it all the way through and can't recall if Brooks was even pitching a movie, but I don't care. Some people are funny performers, but Brooks, as evidenced in his many late night appearances, is a genuinely funny person whether he's performing or just hanging out.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

9 Comments

Filter by:
Texasgirl

Lost in America

July 23 2007 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Interesting bits of trivia: Albert's real surname is Einstein, and his brother is "Super Dave" Osborne.

July 23 2007 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tina

He also did a great series of short films for the first season of Saturday Night Live, and was of course brilliant in one of my favorite films, Broadcast News. You're right that he's one of those people who's naturally funny and, like Bonnie Hunt, excels on talk shows.

Didn't know about him ad-libbing on The Simpsons, but it makes complete sense. Thanks for the article.

July 22 2007 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gt

i just saw the movie looking for comedy in the muslim world, to the above poster, he does the ventriloquist act in the movie. but the movie, and his humor, imo, is old and done...

July 22 2007 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin Williams

The Scout is definitely one of those movies I stop to watch whenever its on TV. One of my favorite baseball movies.

July 22 2007 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jmalcolm

Lesser known but find work he did was in Taxi Driver and The Scout, a personal favorite. Congrats Al. I love your work.

July 22 2007 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

(sorry about the duplicate post)

July 22 2007 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

God, I wish his early "conceptual" appearances on "The Tonight Show" were available on video. The very first time I saw him he was introduced as a ventriloquist -- who made absolutely no attempt to keep his lips from moving. The finale was him singing a song while pouring a glass of water into the dummy's mouth. But the one I remember most of all was the night he was going to present an elephant act onstage, but the elephant got sick before the show. So since he had gone to all the trouble of putting together an elephant circus act, he went ahead with it anyway -- with a LIVE FROG. The climax was Albert laying his head down on the festively-decorated circular platform and placing the frog's leg on his temple. Absolutely brilliant. Happy Birthday, Albert!!!

July 22 2007 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

God, I wish his early "conceptual" appearances on "The Tonight Show" were available on video. The very first time I saw him he was introduced as a ventriloquist -- who made absolutely no attempt to keep his lips from moving. The finale was him singing a song while pouring a glass of water into the dummy's mouth. But the one I remember most of all was the night he was going to present an elephant act onstage, but the elephant got sick before the show. So since he had gone to all the trouble of putting together an elephant circus act, he went ahead with it anyway -- with a LIVE FROG. The climax was Albert laying his head down on the festively-decorated circular platform and placing the frog's leg on his temple. Absolutely brilliant. Happy Birthday, Albert!!!

July 22 2007 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners