Racial Humor in Blazing Saddles by Mel Brooks

Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: February 6, 2007
The tension between blacks and whites is a deep rooted problem that is not fixed by any one solution. Many strategies have been used to try to bring the two races together. Humor is one of the most effective ways to make a group of people accept an idea or a different culture. Humor has helped bridge the gap between races. The movie blazing saddles is a perfect example of how satire and common based humor, brings people together. Blazing saddles is a movie made in 1975 that was directed by Mel Brooks. The movie is a western that portrays a "perfect" white town that has lost its sheriff and is in need of a new one. Through the corrupt white government a new sheriff is sent to the town but he is black. This reverse of rolls in authority is a common base of humor among most people. It would be as though a peasant was sent to rule a group of nobles and kings. This doesn't make much sense, and watching the reaction of the people when they see their new sheriff is comical. Another reverse in common roles is the portrayal of the white people being the stupid and corrupt ones and the black man being the smart character. The only white character that is portrayed as smart is the only character that isn't racist. This implies that racist are ignorant and dumb. That is a huge change in the way society viewed the racist men during that time period and especially a decade before. One of the most striking aspects of this film is that is was made by a white director and made for a mostly white audience. This shows that there was a significant progression in accepting one another and a definite effort by some of the white community to express to the rest of the country that they needed to accept the blacks too. For a white director, during this time period, to put a black man in the hero position of a movie and poke fun at the ignorance of white racist was a huge step toward tolerance and acceptance. There are many things that created tension between blacks and whites prior...
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