You couldn’t Torquemada it: Mel Brooks is making a sequel to “History of the World: Part I,” the 1981 revue that delighted and/or appalled Jews with, among other segments, a cheery musical take on the Spanish Inquisition.
The original was a feature film; the sequel on Hulu will be a variety series, Variety reported on Monday. Brooks, who is 95, will executive-produce and write; joining him will be professional funny people Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter. Production is set to begin in 2022.
Most of the original film’s cast, including Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Gregory Hines, Cloris Leachman and Sid Caesar, have died in the 40 years since it was released.
“I can’t wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phoney baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!” Brooks told Variety.
Brooks played a number of roles in the original “History,” including the Spanish inquisitor Torquemada in the Inquisition skit — a tough competition for the most joyfully tasteless segment. “We have a mission to convert the Jews,” Brooks sings as Torquemada, after sliding down a bannister, Broadway-style, to greet his prisoners in the torture chamber.
“Jew, Jew Jew Jew Jew Jew Jews!” the chorus of monks replies. “We’re going to help them see the light and make an offer that they can’t refuse,” Brooks sings. “That the Jews just can’t refuse!” say the monks.
Other sketches covered cavemen, Moses, the Last Supper, the Roman era and the French Revolution, in which Brooks, as King Louis XVI, uttered the immortal catchphrase, “It’s good to be the king.”
The new series finally fulfills the teaser at the end of “Part I,” which promised a sequel that would cover “Hitler on Ice” and “Jews in Space.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.