Mel Brooks with his son Max Brooks at the ceremony to unveil his Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2010. by the Forward

Mel and Max Brooks’ father-son coronavirus PSA is a must-watch

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“World War Z” author Max Brooks makes a living selling stories of the zombie apocalypse.

But today, he’s enlisting his followers to help stave off the apocalypse at hand.

On Twitter, the writer teamed up with his father, the veteran comedian and director Mel Brooks, to demonstrate proper social distancing techniques in the confusing era of novel coronavirus.

Social distancing, or limiting contact with others in order to minimize the spread of disease, is one of the most effective ways to fight coronavirus. But, understandably, it’s also not very popular. Even in cities where the virus is known to be spreading, like New York, up until Governor Cuomo announced the closing of all bars and restaurants, many continued to party like it was pathogen-free 2019. And while those over 65 are considered to be at high risk, baby boomers, many of whom work hard to maintain an active lifestyle, have found self-isolation a hard pill to swallow.

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Echoing guidelines distributed by the CDC since the beginning of the outbreak and Jewish mothers since the beginning of time, the younger Brooks urged followers to wash their hands, avoid large crowds and stay home whenever possible. Meanwhile, his father stood behind the safety of a glass door, making gestures that looked supportive but could have also meant “Of course I’m still going to the movies,” “Bump elbows? That’s ridiculous,” or “Your mother and I have planned this cruise for months. What could go wrong?”

AT 47, Max Brooks is young enough to feel safe from the virus.. But he entreated his cohort to stay at home for the sake of their elders.

“If I get coronavirus, I’ll probably be OK,” he said in the now-viral — pun very much unintended — video. “But if I give it to him, he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it, I’ve wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends.”

Even in our wildest coronavirus fears, most of us aren’t worried about personally wiping out the country’s oldest, greatest bastion of comedic genius. But whether or not your loved ones are cultural treasures, they deserve as much safety as you can give them. So lather up, stock up and enjoy the visual of Max Brooks’ frankly indecent zombie-hunting biceps from the safety of your own home.

Mel and Max Brooks’ coronavirus PSA is a must-watch

Mel and Max Brooks’ coronavirus PSA is a must-watch

Irene Connelly writes about culture and lifestyle. You can contact her at


Irene Katz Connelly

Irene Katz Connelly

Irene Katz Connelly is a staff writer at the Forward. You can contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @katz_conn.

Mel and Max Brooks’ coronavirus PSA is a must-watch

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