Our Leah Sydney is having a ball at the American Film Institute dinner for Steve Martin right now in Hollywood at the Dolby Theater. But she reports that Mel Brooks, who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award two years ago– is having an actual ball–a matzoh ball.
Mel, who will toast Steve, asked for matzoh ball soup for dinner because he doesn’t like the fish they’re serving. Of course! Mel also confirmed for Leah that he and Susan Stroman will co-direct a new stage version of “Young Frankenstein” in London’s West End soon. (The story was first reported by Baz Bamigboye in the Daily Mail.) Mel is still figuring out whether he’ll do the long awaited sequel to “Spaceballs.”
Also at the AFI gala: Lorne Michaels, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Garlin, Peter Asher, Steve Carell, Jack Black, Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon plus lot of execs including Disney’s Alan Horn and Warner’s Sue Kroll. Sir Howard Stringer already came out on stage with Steve Martin’s trademark arrow on his head.
Plus: Leah did speak to our beloved old pal Teri Garr– who has trouble speaking because of MS, but otherwise glows– and they talked about David Letterman. Teri says to tell everyone “I love Dave. I wish him well.”
Jeff Garlin told me over the phone that he’s sitting right behind Steve Martin. “I’ve never met him, but he’s the reason I’m an actor and a comedian. He’s been such a big influence on me.”