Beware of Brooks Bearing Pickled Herring

We’ve always kind of thought this, but now we know for sure: Mel Brooks’ entire life is like a slapstick comedy. We spotted him at last night’s New Yorkers for Children Annual Fall Gala, fresh from rehearsals from his Young Frankenstein, which opens on Broadway in November. “One day I brought in some pickled herring, a jar of pickled herring, for the dancers — a gift!” the director-producer-comedian told us gleefully. “But I spilled, and three dancers slipped and fell. But! The way they fell gave Susan Stroman [the choreographer] a great idea for a slide.” “So you’re a choreographer now, too?” New York asked. “No, no,” he demurred. “I just help with the slides. —Elizabeth Brown