Mel Brooks was previously scheduled to be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, but his appearance on the show had a somber tone. It came just a day after Gene Wilder‘s death on Monday at the age of 83. Brooks, who just turned 90 this summer, remembered his friend and said he’ll miss being able to call him.
The Young Frankenstein director said that he knew Wilder was ill, but even though he expected it, it was still tough to come to terms with.
“When it happens, it’s still tremendous. It’s a big shock, you know,” Brooks said as his voice shook. “I’m still reeling from that… No more Gene. I can’t call him. I can’t… And he was such a wonderful part of my life.”
Brooks recalled many of the famous stories about his relationship with Wilder. It provided the audience – and Brooks – a chance to laugh at what made Wilder so great. Brooks and Wilder made three films together – The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.
Also while on Fallon, Brooks recalled his childhood in Brooklyn.