It was "high anxiety" for President Obama as comedy legend Mel Brooks tried to pull the commander-in-chief’s pants down during a medal ceremony, drawing laughter from the audience.
On Thursday, Brooks, 90, was awarded the National Medal of Arts and after Obama bestowed the medal around his neck, the Blazing Saddles director stared at the president and tried to yank down his pants.
Obama at first looked bewildered then stepped back and realized it was all a prank by the man he acknowledged has lived “a lifetime of making the world laugh.”
The audience lapped it up and laughed at what the Young Frankenstein auteur had done to the leader of the free world.
Following the prank, Obama said: "Mel Brooks kind of set the tone for this thing," and added that in the past, it has "been a much more staid affair."
Other National Medal of Arts winners included Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, choreographer Ralph Lemon and actor Luis Valdez. Morgan Freeman was also a winner but did not attend.
The winners were named last year but were finally given the award Thursday afternoon in a special White House ceremony.
In the past, winners have included Bob Dylan, Meryl Streep and Stevie Wonder.