If you had “comedy legend Mel Brooks appears in the best public health PSA” in your coronavirus betting pool, congratulations. You must be some kind of psychic genius, because that’s exactly what happened.
Max Brooks, Mel’s novelist son, posted the video to Twitter yesterday, where it’s already garnered over 428,000 likes and 167,000 retweets. It shows the younger Brooks standing outside a glass door, speaking to the camera.
“Hi, I’m Max Brooks. I’m 47 years old,” he begins as his father walks up, safely ensconced inside the glass door.
“This is my dad, Mel Brooks. He’s 93. If I get the coronavirus, I’ll probably be OK. But if I give it to him he could give it to Carl Reiner who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it I’ve wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends,” Max continues. It’s the kind of bleak joke that’s only natural when your Jewish father wrote and directed a musical comedy featuring singing and dancing Nazis.
“When it comes to coronavirus I have to think about who I can infect, and so should you,” he continues before listing steps everyone should take to keep safe. “Do your part, don’t be a spreader. Right, dad?”
“Go home!” Mel says, shooing his son away.
— Max Brooks (@maxbrooksauthor) March 16, 2020
Max Brooks has written several novels about zombies, including The Zombie Survival Guide, The New Dead, and World War Z, which Brad Pitt made into a movie. So he’s probably thought about global infection spread more than most, and leveraging his dad’s fame to help educate the public is a pretty savvy move. Here’s hoping that it prods at least some of the thousands who have seen it to be more proactive about preventing the spread of the virus.