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It's good to be the king!
History of the World Part One is a 1981 comedy film written, directed and produced by Mel Brooks. He is also part of the main cast if not the main character. Starting out with the Dawn of Man, cavemen discovering fire, cave paintings, and the art critic, the film skips to various 'important' areas of history usually with a unique interpretation of the events. Following this, the film touches on Moses receiving the Fifteen... er, Ten Commandments then takes time to waltz through the Roman Empire and end up at the Last Supper. They then sing and dance during The Spanish Inquisition, though nobody expects it. The French Revolution comes next with Brooks playing King Louis XVI and the piss boy, don't ask, that turns into the Prince and the Pauper though it ends well through a miracle. Before the credits are 'Coming Attractions'.
- Actor Allusion: Unbelievably, this is a plot point. The Count de
MoneyMonet tells King Louis that he looks exactly like the piss boy. Naturally, both characters are played by Mel Brooks himself.
- Adipose Rex: The Roman Emperor. Check your material carefully before performing at the Palace.
- Affectionate Parody: Of history in general. The French Revolution section is largely a spoof of A Tale of Two Cities.
- The Rome section owes a lot to Caligula and even moreso to Caligula II: Messalina, Messalina.
- All Jews Are Ashkenazi: Sephardi Jews during the Spanish Inquisition musical sequence speak with Yiddish accents with smatterings of Yiddish like "Oy gevalt!"
- Answer Cut: During the Last Supper.
Jesus: Yay yay so you say, but one who sits amongst us has already betrayed me this night.
Apostles: Who? Who could it be?
Waiter: Do you want a beverage? Try the malt wine, it's terrific!
- Background Halo
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: "It's good to be the King!" is often misquoted without the 'the' in shout-outs by other works.
- Biggus Dickus: "Yes, yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes..." with a final "YES!"
- Brick Joke: Combined with Deus Ex Machina, the Roman Empire group help out Miracle towards the beginning of the segment. Miracle goes on to save them twice. First at the end of the segment, when they escape from the Emperor, then during the end of the French Revolution segment, in a carriage driven by Josephus.
- Busby Berkeley Number: SEND IN THE NUNS!
- Camp Gay: The announcer in Caesar's palace.
- Catch Phrase: "It's good to be the King."
- Deus Ex Machina: "Miracle!"
- Gag Boobs: Apparently literally inflated with air.
- Got Me Doing It: DeMonet keeps correcting people who pronounce his name "De Money". Eventually he needs to correct himself.
- Grapes of Luxury: DeLuise gets this treatment as Caesar.
- Historical In-Joke: The title of the film. It is a play on The Historie Of The World, a work written by Sir Walter Raleigh. He only finished the first book before he was beheaded.
- Hypocritical Humor: "I don't care for the peasants?! They are my people. I am their sovereign. I love them... PULL!!"
- Incredibly Lame Pun:
Oedipus: 'Ey, Josephus!
Josephus: 'Ey, motherfucker.
- Inherently Funny Words:
- Torquemada (Say it fast)
- KING LOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUWWWWWIIIIIISSSSS!
- Just a Stupid Accent: The Trope Namer.
- Mood Whiplash: After "The Roman Empire" sequence ends with a funny scene with "The Last Supper", we cut to "The Spanish Inquisition" which begins in a very bleak scene of monks chanting and Jews being tortured.
- Then the music starts and it's back to funny again.
- Most Common Superpower: Madame Defarge, until she pops one with her knitting needle by accident.
- Mythology Gag: Harvey Korman's role as Count deMoney (deMonET!) is a reference to his previous role in Blazing Saddles as the evil chancellor Hedy Lamarr. (HEDLEY!) Par for the course for a Mel Brooks film, really.
- Really Gets Around: Empress Nympho
- Reclining Reigner: Caesar, natch.
- Scarpia Ultimatum: Hump/death/hump/death...
- Sequel Hook: Faked with a preview of features in History of the World, Part Two":
- Sequel Snark: Even the title implies a sequel, and they do "previews" to Part Two, but it's clear they don't mean to make one.
- This is actually a reference to Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, Volume I; he wrote it in prison in the Tower of London and was executed before he could write any other volumes.
- Shout-Out: Don't you remember where Madame Defarge originally came from?
- Something Else Also Rises: Invoked by the Roman soldiers in the eunuch scene so that they can identify Josephus. It succeeds.
- Space Jews: Literally!
- This Is Sparta: DEATH! TO KING! LOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUWWWWWWIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSS!
- Those Wacky Nazis: "See... Hitler on Ice!"
- Villain Song: The aforementioned song about the Spanish Inquisition.
- Who's on First?: The interaction between Jesus and the waiter at the Last Supper.
- The X of Y