Whoopi Goldberg thinks Twitter is exaggerating the influence of Mel Brooks’ 1974 comedic western movie Blazing Saddles. Following The Office star Mindy Kaling’s speculation that the acclaimed but “inappropriate” sitcom would not be popular today, The View panelists debated how classic comedies will do in 2022.
When responding to critics who think the movie about a politician who hires a Black sheriff to supervise a troubled community goes too far in its satire of racism, Goldberg specifically mentioned the social media controversy regarding Blazing Saddles’ depiction of racism.
“It deals with racism by coming at it right, straight, out front, making you think and laugh about it, because, listen, it’s not just racism, it’s all the isms, he hits all the isms,” the Oscar-winning actress said. “Blazing Saddles, because it’s a great comedy, would still go over today. There are a lot of comedies that are not good, okay? We’re just going to say that. That’s not one of them. Blazing Saddles is one of the greatest because it hits everybody.”
She continued, “If you’ve never seen Blazing Saddles, you should do yourself a favor, get some popcorn, get a glass of wine, and put it on because it’s magnificent.” Panelist Sara Haines went on to say that there should be “sacred space for comedians” to work through potentially problematic issues in culture because “laughing is literally the ultimate medicine for life and all that it brings.”
Joy Behar, a stand-up comedian, cited Carroll O’Connor’s iconic All in the Family character Archie Bunker as an example of a fictional character whose “bigotry” should be considered in context. “You take away Archie’s bigotry, you don’t have a character.
That’s who he was, and that’s the way you’re supposed to look at people. If everybody was perfectly wonderful… and appropriate, then you’d never learn about these other people who exist out there,” she said. “That’s the purpose of art: To expose you to all aspects of human beings. Why would you want to take away the beauty of watching Archie Bunker make a fool of himself?” Goldberg ended the segment by cautioning critics once again: “Leave my Blazing Saddles alone. Don’t make me come for you!”