"What am I, a robber baron?" Mel Brooks barks into the phone from his Upper East Side apartment. "I'm giving you a performance to enjoy. I deserve whatever the hell I can get out of it...For writing half the book, all the score, being around to assist the actors, do I not deserve it?" Brooks continues.
He rips into a list of earlier Rialto flops. "After 'Shinbone Alley' - stay with me - after 'All American' starring Ray Bolger, after four or five Broadway shows where I worked for two or three years and didn't get a paycheck, am I not entitled to 24 percent of the show, if it is a big hit?"
He's winding down now. "My argument is: I supply. If the stuff is really memorable, then I deserve a fair share of the profits ... if indeed there are any."
There are also some great bits about the extent to which Roger Bart is and isn't stealing from Gene Wilder. Read the whole thing.