Having just witnessed the President of the United States and other dignitaries honor Mel Brooks at the Kennedy Center (a December event recently delayed-telecast in part on CBS), it’s only fitting that we now return to regularly scheduled programming. In Brooks’ case, that means returning to the impishly tasteless humor which has marked his movies for so many years — only this time, it’s for a short-lived TV show, the G4 Network’s Spaceballs: The Animated Series.
Four of that series’ 13 episodes are new on DVD, reminding us why we love Brooks so much: He’s shameless. The man himself returns to voice President Skroob and Yogurt, with two other original voice actors from the 1987 film also back: Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa and Joan Rivers as the C-3PO-ish Dot Matrix.
Brooks’ Star Wars spoof in the late ’80s was ‘way past that saga’s prime for satiric stabs, seeming dated just six years after Return of the Jedi wound down the original trilogy. Here, it’s no longer a dated nature that deters, but the extremely limited animation. Star Wars was in great part about razzle dazzle. This has no razzle or dazzle, just meager animation with often simple, plain backgrounds.
But the story and the events are right up Brooks’ tacky alley, with loads of sexual humor and other adult elements which make this decidedly not for the kiddos. Teen boys, maybe, but that’s it.
Think of it as Heavy Metal meets Star Wars with the pedal to the medal for uncouth mirth. Bottom line: It’s funny, and with Brooks, that’s all we ask.