Study Guide

Blazing Saddles Governor (Mel Brooks)

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Governor (Mel Brooks)

Political Blunders

Governor Lepetomane is your typical satire of a corrupt, incompetent politician. He's basically a caricature in a political cartoon, stogie and all. When asked to sign a bill offering paddleballs in exchange for Native American land, Lepetomane answers,

"Are you crazy? They'll never go for it, and then again they might. The little red devils, they love toys. May I try one?"

In other words, he doesn't really care what he's signing because he's so easily distracted by women and silly children's toys.

Even when Lepetomane knows what he's signing, he doesn't seem to understand or care what it means. We get a perfect sense of this when he signs a bill converting the state mental institution into a casino. As soon as Lepetomane realizes his name will be on the building, he jumps up and proclaims,

"Gentlemen, this bill will be a giant step forward in the treatment of the insane gambler."

Or in other words, Lepetomane is much more interested in his political legacy than he is in the treatment of mentally ill people.

At one point, it looks as if Lepetomane might develop a conscience and do the right thing. He finds out about the carnage at Rock Ridge and shouts,

"Holy underwear! Sheriff murdered! Innocent women and children blown to bits!"

Here we might think that he has finally decided to care about the people he governs. But he follows this concern immediately by saying,

"We've got to protect our phony-baloney jobs, gentlemen."

So in the end, Lepetomane is just a corrupt cynic who's not even smart enough to be corrupt as effectively as a guy like Hedley Lamarr is.

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