A White House ceremony full of pomp and circumstance didn’t stop Mel Brooks from having a laugh — by pretending to pull President Obama’s pants down.
The veteran comedy writer and filmmaker was among more than a dozen honorees at the White House on Thursday for the presentation of the National Medal of the Arts and the Humanities.
After an announcer hailed Brooks’s achievements, the 90-year-old accepted his medal from Obama. Then, with a big grin, Brooks knelt and pretended to yank at the 44th president’s suit pants.
The move elicited a laugh from Obama, though many in the audience appeared not to understand the stunt. Some in the crowd were heard whispering, asking what Brooks’s motions were all about.
“I do think Mel Brooks kind of set the tone for this thing,” Obama said after doling out the honors. “Historically, this has been a much more staid affair.”
“Somehow I think my quote at the beginning threw everything off,” Obama said with a laugh.