There is no doubt that Mel Brooks will go down in history as a comedic great. The former stand-up comic and producer is best known for directing 11 hilarious films from the 1960s to the 1990s—and today, at age 95, he’s still going strong. As one of the last funnymen of his generation (his contemporaries Buck Henry and Carl Reiner both passed away in 2020), we can’t help but wonder how much he earned after working for more than half a century in show business. Learn what Mel Brooks’ net worth is in 2021, and find out more about the current project that will hopefully bring laughs to a new generation of fans.
Mel Brooks Is A Comedy Legend
Mel Brooks was born Melvin Kaminsky on June 28, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York. Although his rich history includes a stint as a psych major and an infantryman in World War II, he has always set his sights on entertainment.
In 2015, Brooks told late-night host James Corden that he was bitten by the bug in the 1930s when he attended the opening night of the Broadway production Anything Goes. His uncle Joe, a cab driver who traded free rides for show tickets with Broadway doormen, scored a seat in the last row of the theatre for his nephew.
“I made up [my mind]… I said to uncle Joe that night… I’m going into show business,” Brooks explained. “I was nine years old.”
Brooks officially began his career as a stand-up comic in the late 1940s, then moved to joke writing for television shows in the next decade. In 1965, after relocating to Hollywood, he co-created and wrote for the TV series Get Smart—a comedy about a James Bond-esque spy. The show earned seven Emmys during its five-year run.
However, Brooks’ body of work as a director will be his legacy. He has 11 titles to his name, starting with 1967’s cult classic The Producers. The black comedy, which centered on a musical about Adolf Hitler, was initially the subject of controversy. But despite mixed reviews and some backlash, laughter prevailed. The film became so beloved that it warranted a 2001 Broadway adaptation and a 2005 remake.
1974 was a banner year for Brooks. His comedy Blazing Saddles was the second highest-grossing US film of the year; it also earned three Oscar nominations. The third high-grossing film? Young Frankenstein, also directed by Brooks.
He continued to serve laughs for decades to come, thanks to classic comedies like Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
Brooks has plenty of accolades to show for his hard work. For starters, he’s one of the few entertainers to boast EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status. He was also a 2009 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Three of his films—The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein—all hold top spots in the American Film Institutes list of the 100 funniest comedies in American cinema.
In 2018, Brooks neatly summed up his job to NPR:
“The comedy writer is like the conscience of the king,” he said. “He’s got to tell him the truth. And that’s my job: to make terrible things entertaining.”
What Is Mel Brooks’ Net Worth?
Mel Brooks has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
Despite his fortune, he lives a relatively modest life. His real estate investments give us a good idea of his taste. In 2019, the LA Times reported that he sold a four-bedroom, 3-and-a-half bath cottage in Southampton for $4.995 million. The simply decorated home sits on just over an acre of land and overlooks Shinnecock Bay.
The following year, Brooks listed his midcentury modern home in Los Angeles for $3.85 million. The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home is nestled in the hills and includes separate staff quarters.
According to Variety, Brooks also owns a Manhattan condo that he purchased for just $347,000, as well as “a handful of condos” in Santa Monica.
But at the end of the day, he takes pleasure in simple things. In 2020, the Guardian revealed that his everyday routine included heading to the late Carl Reiner’s house to eat dinner and watch Jeopardy!
“This is a great place because I got friendship, love, and free food. Free eats are very important, you know,” he said with his signature humor.