Top Five: Legendary Comedians Edition

by | November 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM | Top 5

If there’s one thing we love more than classic comedy, it’s classic comedians.

As readers of this weekly Top Five are well-aware, we love it when the nation’s top veteran comedians appear on the late-night shows, and this week, there were enough of them to dedicate most of this Top Five to them.

What makes a comedian classic? It’s really about old-fashioned show-business values — a quick wit, a trunkload of hilarious stories ready for telling, and an aura of supreme comfort in front of a studio audience.

Who falls into this category? Well, this week it was Mel Brooks, Billy Crystal and Martin Short. What did they do on the late-night shows this week? Read on and you’ll see:

1) Mel Brooks: This legend of comedy is someone we seldom see on the talk shows, but Brooks, 86, came on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night to promote a new boxed, DVD set of his movies and TV appearances. Brooks is still sharp as a tack, as you’ll see if you watch his appearance below. Among the things he talked about: His classic movies such as “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” and his long friendship with Carl Reiner.

Watch Mel Brooks on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”:

2) Billy Crystal: Crystal’s another great show business raconteur who we always love to see on the late-night shows. This week, he turned up on Craig Ferguson’s “Late Late Show,” which was a first for us, if not for Billy, who we’re more accustomed to seeing on the so-called A-list late-night shows — namely “Letterman” and “Leno.” But it was fun to see Billy, 64, on a show other than those, and he and Ferguson seemed to hit it off. The part we liked best: Billy’s story about the time he and Danny DeVito met the legendary George Burns and Burns played a hilarious prank on them.

Watch this clip and see what happened:

3) Martin Short: Short, 62, is such a willing, enthusiastic late-night guest that he’ll even appear on a late-night show when he has very little, if anything, to promote. On “Jimmy Kimmel Live” this week — the night before Mel Brooks — Kimmel mentioned an upcoming live-theater date Short has on his performance schedule, but we couldn’t tell if that was the reason he came on “JKL” or not. It was a performance date in Panama City, Fla., of all places — something most performers don’t come on national TV shows to publicize. And other than Kimmel mentioning it, Short barely talked about it. Instead, he talked about, well, everything else.

Watch Martin Short on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”:

4) Meanwhile, elsewhere on TV this week: We haven’t really been featuring TV’s two dueling talent shows so far this season, so items 4 and 5 will be devoted to “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars” on ABC and “The Voice” on NBC.

“DWTS” was noteworthy for this week’s results show on Tuesday night, which resulted in Kirstie Alley being voted off the show — and just when she’s receiving so much publicity for this new book she has out — “The Art of Men” — in which she claims to have had torrid love affairs with Patrick Swayze and John Travolta. Here’s the “DWTS” results show from this past week:

As for “The Voice,” the NBC series had a results show of its own this week. And here it is: