Mel Brooks inadvertently shares secret of 'Spaceballs' success
Mel Brooks made 12 movies. Most people can only remember a handful of them. I don't even remember one of the movies mentioned in this article: Mel Brooks explains why George Lucas signed off on Spaceballs — with one giant caveat

But I do remember Spaceballs. I saw it in the theater with some college friends. While we laughed throughout the movie, because we got (nearly) all the gags, we never went back to see it again. Nor have I watched it on television very much.

But I see pop references to the movie all the time. And maybe the real reason why the movie has remained popular is that it didn't turn itself into a merchandising machine. Brooks had to concentrate on telling a story, even a silly one, rather than promoting toys.

Of course, there are toys in the movie - but they're gag toys, obviously poking fun at George Lucas' lawyers.

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