''Blazing Saddles'' and profanity | EW.com


''Blazing Saddles'' and profanity

Now released on DVD, Mel Brooks discusses his lack of restraint on the film's commentary

The working title, Tex X, made it sound too much like a blaxploitation flick. So, as director-cowriter Mel Brooks explains in a commentary on the DVD-only wide-screen reissue of Blazing Saddles, he renamed his seminal, semi-obscene, R-rated horse-opera parody with a phrase that ”says Western, and it says crazy.” The title wasn’t all Brooks had to wrangle: His first choice to play Sheriff Black Bart, Richard Pryor, was rejected by Warner Bros. because the stand-up comic and rising film star was, in Brooks’ argot, ”a known sniffer.” (Cleavon Little got the role.) Worried that he might nauseate audiences with Saddles’ infamous gas-passing campfire scene, or go too far with the constant use of the N-word, not to mention Lili von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) lewdly exclaiming ”It’s twue!” over Bart’s anatomical endowment, Brooks tells DVD viewers he was sustained by advice from a Warner exec: ”If you’re gonna go up to the bell, ring it.” Ding dong, restraint was dead.