At a Q&A which followed a 2016 screening of his 1974 Western parody Blazing Saddles, special guest Mel Brooks was told by moderator Kevin Salter that the question he runs into most often about the film is whether it could even be made today. While Salter said the answer was a resounding "no," he also said,"But I actually don't think it could have really been made in 1974 either."
Brooks agreed with Salter's assertion, explaining that he told his team of writers, which included legendary comedian Richard Pryor, "Don't be afraid of anything, just write crazy because, probably, they'll never make this movie." Brooks continued, "And secondly if they do make the movie, you'll be arrested." Still, Warner Bros. did ultimately approve the film.
That didn't stop the studio from having second thoughts following their screening of the finished product. Said Brooks: "… It's crazy, it's dangerous. There's the N-word, it's really a dangerous movie. So I show it to a group of executives. Not a word, nothing, zip, zilch … The domestic distributor for Warner Bros. stands up … and he says, 'I have never asked Warner Bros. to bury a film. But I think we should eat the money and never show this disgusting film.'"
The studio released the film following successful test screenings. The content still worried some theater owners though, as a film blogger raised in New Jersey recalls: "When I saw Blazing Saddles in the theater, I remember seeing a sign on the doors of the General Cinemas Hudson Mall in Jersey City. It read, 'Please be aware that Blazing Saddles contains material that may be considered offensive to some viewers. The management is not responsible for its content.'"