Blazing Saddles

Question: Is Gabby Johnson saying "Reverend" or "Rerand" during the church scene?

Seth Cain

Chosen answer: Reverend.


Question: What is Mel saying when acting as the Sioux chief, as he is speaking to the future sheriff Bart?

Answer: Shvartses! (Blacks!) No, no, zayt nisht meshuge! (Don't be crazy!) Loz im geyn! (Let him go!) Cop a walk, it's all right. Abi´╗┐ gezint! (As long as you're healthy!) Take off! Hosti gezen in dayne lebn? (Have you ever seen such a thing?) They darker than us! Woof!

Greg Dwyer

Question: Is this film the first of its kind? By which I mean a live-action comedy that operates on cartoon "logic", where anything can happen as long as it's (in theory, anyway) funny?

Answer: Plenty of comedies before Blazing Saddles utilised elements of what you're talking about, particularly breaking the fourth wall (i.e, characters addressing the audience directly, or acknowledging that they're characters in a film) and random, surrealist/absurdist moments (cf. "Road to Utopia" (1945), which features two scenes in which animals behave and even speak like humans). In 1966, Woody Allen used similar "anything goes" logic in creating "What's Up, Tiger Lily?", and continued to use "cartoonish" antics in his subsequent late '60s/early '70s comedies. Certainly, though, Blazing Saddles brought it to a new level, and may be the first film in which the entire plot literally becomes a film-within-a-film, for instance (though "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", in production around the same time, used the same device).

Question: Mel Brooks consciously and deliberately filled Blazing Saddles with anachronisms, this was part of the film's humour. But one thing has always niggled at my mind. Blazing Saddles is set in 1874. Quite early on in the film the whites ask Cleavon Little/Bart why African Americans are not singing work songs. The African Americans then begin acapella harmonised version of Cole Porters "I Get A Kick Out Of You" (written for the 1934 musical "Anything Goes"). But in October 1974, shortly after Blazing Saddles had its UK release, an otherwise unknown Australian singer called Gary Shearston had a top ten UK hit with a cover of "I Get A Kick Out Of You." Was there any connection? Did Blazing Saddles revive interest in the song?

Rob Halliday

Answer: Thank you for that. So there was no direct connection. Maybe the song was going around in "the collective consciousness" (whatever that might be) in late 1974. A small bit of extra trivia: Cleavon Little/Bart sings the line that mentions cocaine. When Cole Porter wrote "I get a kick out of you" for the 1934 stage musical "Anything Goes" he wrote the line "some get a kick from cocaine." When the musical was adapted for the 1936 movie the Production Code Administration objected to references to drug use in popular songs, so Cole Porter re-wrote the line as "some like the perfume in Spain." Cleavon Little/Bart has redressed the balance in "Blazing Saddles."

Rob Halliday

Answer: By the time "Blazing Saddles" used the song, Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You" had been covered literally dozens of times over the decades, so much so that it was a well-worn standard. In other words, it didn't really need reviving. There is no indication that Australian folk singer Gary Shearston was directly inspired by the song's use in "Blazing Saddles," or he probably would have admitted it for the sake of promotion. When asked about his eccentric cover of the Cole Porter song on the 1974 album "Dingo," Shearston simply replied that he "did it for fun," without elaborating. The acoustic guitar of Shearston's cover seemed more inspired by George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," and Shearston's vocals were described as "laid-back," while his stage performance of the song (which was a huge hit in the UK) was notable for Shearston's "deadpan" delivery. Shearston also either bungled or deliberately altered the lyrics in places, and he ended the song muttering about his girlfriend, by name. So, Shearston very much made the song his own, and the timing of his cover following on the heels of "Blazing Saddles" would seem to be pure coincidence.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: At the beginning, Lyle refers to the song Camptown races as "The Camptown lady"? Is this simply cause he's stupid, or is there any other reason?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: The opening line of the song refers to the Camptown Ladies and the phrase "Camptown Races" never appears anywhere in the lyrics. If nobody told him otherwise, Lyle may simply have assumed that some variation on "Camptown Ladies" was the actual title.


The actual title of the song was "Gwine to Run All Night, or De Camptown Races," written by American lyricist Stephen Foster and first published in 1850. Over many years on the minstrel show circuit, the title was shortened to "Camptown Races" and was sometimes erroneously called "Camptown Ladies." While the phrase "Camptown Races" doesn't appear in the lyrics, the phrase "Camptown Racetrack" does appear in the second line: "Camptown ladies sing dis song, doo-dah, doo-dah, Camptown Racetrack five miles long, oh-de-doo-dah-day." The song refers to Camptown, Pennsylvania, a real town with a popular horserace in the mid-1800s.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Is the song "The French Mistake" a real song or was it made up for the movie?

Answer: It was made up just for the movie, and I believe we only hear the chorus. Mel Brooks wanted to do an homage to Busby Berkeley's style of choreographed dance number.


Continuity mistake: When Mongo first comes into town and the man on the horse says "You can't park that animal here," Mongo punches the horse and its rider, and the horse falls. Before the cut to the close up of the man (obviously the stunt double), his head is facing toward the horse's head. After the cut to the close up of the man, his body is facing the opposite direction. (00:46:30)

More mistakes in Blazing Saddles

Hedley Lamarr: My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.
Taggart: God darnit, Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore.

More quotes from Blazing Saddles

Trivia: When Lamarr tells Le Petomane that his name is Hedley Lamarr and not Hedy, Le Petomane says that since it's 1874, Hedley could sue her. In 1974, actress Hedy Lamarr filed a lawsuit against Mel Brooks claiming the joke infringed on her privacy. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

More trivia for Blazing Saddles

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