2016 has been a pretty rough year for celebrity deaths. We have seen the passing of both young talent and legendary figures in the film industry, and now it appears that the latter has tragically struck again. This week we bid goodbye to the comedy legend Gene Wilder, who delighted audiences with his fearless performances and frequent collaborations with director/writer Mel Brooks. The two clearly had a great professional and personal relationship, and Brooks recently spoke up regarding how he's feeling in the wake of Wilder's tragic death.

Mel Brooks just did an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he opened up about how he's mourning his late friend Gene Wilder. He said the following:

He was sick, and I knew it. He was such a dear friend. I expected it. I expected he would go. But, I don't know. When it happens, it's still tremendous. It's a big shock. I'm still reeling from no more Gene. I can't call him. He was such a wonderful part of my life.

How touching. We can glean a few things from this interview, and it's all positive and heartwarming.

mel brooks gene wilder

For one, it appears that Gene Wilder's loved ones were not quite as surprised by this death as the public was. Social media and the internet basically exploded at the news of Wilder's death, but now it appears that those close to the late actor were a bit more mentally and emotionally prepared for his passing. He had been apparently struggling for quite some time, so it may be possible that his loved ones are actually relieved that he no longer had to suffer.

It's also touching to see just how close Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder remained throughout the decades. The comedy duo's work has entertained audiences for years, and it's clear that they found each other just as delightful in person. Mel Brook's comments make it seem like the two were in constant communication, calling each other regularly. That appears to be one of the hardest aspects of Brook's grief: the sudden lack of communication with his dear friend.

You can check out Mel Brook's full interview with Jimmy Fallon regarding Gene Wilder below.

Even more touching in video, right?

Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks' collaborations are far reaching and feature some of the most hilarious comedy films of all time. Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Blazing Saddles are all legendary comedies that will live on even though Gene Wilder will not. Our thoughts are with his loves ones at this time.

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