March 13, 2015
MEL BROOKS told the following story to his audience at the Geffen. He had sent “Springtime for Hitler” all around film town & no one was interested. Finally one big producer, Lew Wasserman, called. Brooks looked out at the audience: “Well, okay.” So Wasserman called a meeting at which he said to Mel, “Very funny script. I’d like to do it. We’ll be on your team if you make one proviso. Can you change it to Mussolini? He’s a much nicer guy.”
The audience laughed.
Mel shook his head and said, “He didn’t get it.”
This expression also applies to readers who cannot “connect” with a writer’s voice. In that case, the reader simply “doesn’t get it.”
As a wise friend (my editor) said, People often confuse that tonal disconnect as being “right” about the quality of a book; they don’t realize that it’s just not for them.