As a child in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mel Brooks assumed he would grow up to work in Manhattan's garment district. That's what most of the kids in his working-class Jewish neighborhood did.
But everything changed when he saw his first Broadway musical — Anything Goes, starring Ethel Merman.
"My hands stung from applauding so much after it was over," he says. "And I remember going back in Uncle Joe's cab and I remember saying as he was driving me back home to Williamsburg, 'Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe! I'm going to do that! ... I want to be in show business!' "