The President was honoring the director-writer-actor with the National Medal of Arts award

By Derek Lawrence
September 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Mel Brooks has mastered almost every type of comedy, from Broadway to the big screen, but the 90-year-old comedian had a special joke saved for President Obama — by pretending to pants him.

On Thursday, Brooks was at the White House to receive a 2015 National Medal of Arts award “for a lifetime of making the world laugh.” The Blazing Saddles director lived up to the honor’s description, because after President Obama put the medal around his neck, Brooks reached down and pretended to pull down the leader of the free world’s pants.

The moment surprised the president as he laughed and jokingly gestured that he had thought Brooks was falling and was ready to catch him. Later in the ceremony, Obama joked “Mel Brooks kind of set the tone for this thing,” an occasion he says has usually “been a much more staid affair.”

Others honored at the ceremony included Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and Morgan Freeman, who was not in attendance. 

Watch the video below.