Mel Brooks became the 41st recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award at Thursday (June 6) night's handing-out ceremony. Upon receiving award the director of such comic greats as Young Frankenstein and Blazing Sandler told the star-studded audience that "movies saved [his] life," following a heartfelt yet humorous video tribute.

The ceremony before the the handing over of the award to the 86-year-old was a fitting one for the comedy great, beginning with a song and dance routine featuring numbers from Brooks' The Producers, all being reenacted by Martin Short. He said after; "the word genius is used a lot in Hollywood, so I might as well call Mel one," as the ceremony went on and a range of comedy greats gave their respects to the comic, with Larry David blaming Mel for keeping him away from comedy in his aspiring years because he knew he'd never live up to it, whilst Jimmy Kimmel took paying his respects to the writer/director a little more seriously, jokingly saying, We are going to miss you so much, Mel."

Kimmel continued; "you were one of the greats. Rest in peace, my friend," with Brooks addressing Kimmel's comment as soon as he got on stage , first swearing then exclaiming "I'm not gonna die!"

The star studded crowd, including Robert DeNiro and David Lynch, went on to further pay tribute to Brooks, with Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg praising his work via a video link. The show's host, Martin Scorsese went on to say, Mel has made his own tradition of greatness, and it's that tradition - drawing from the past, honouring it, toying with it, vamping on it, extending it to places wise men, very funny men previously feared to go - that's what we're celebrating here and honouring tonight."

Brooks now joins the ranks of Scorsese, Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor and George Lucas in winning the award and after a long and illustrious career well and truly deserves the award, so well done him.

Mel Brooks AFI
Mel Brooks achieved a Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers at the American Film Institute at a special ceremony yesterday.

Mel Brooks Mel Brooks AFI
Mel Brooks Mel Brooks & a woman at the AFI ceremony