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Mel Brooks’ story of meeting Gene Wilder for the first time is wonderful

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Gene Wilder might have left us forever but tales of the actor's genius still abound.

Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, comedy legend Mel Brooks shared the poignant and funny story of his first encounter with his great friend and long-time collaborator, the dearly departed Gene Wilder.

Wilder was appearing as the Chaplin in Mother Courage, a play being produced by Brooks' wife Anne Bancroft, and came backstage dismayed that the audience seemed to be finding his every scene hilarious, despite being somewhat more serious in tone. Brooks had some, er, comforting words for the young actor: "Look in the mirror, blame it on God!"

His roasting gambit paid off and the two formed a powerhouse comedic partnership. Brooks' recounting of the moment they found out they had secured funding for their breakout film The Producers (later in the clip) is well worth sticking around for.

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