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It's good to be the king.
~ King Louis

King Louis XVI is one of the villains of Mel Brooks's History of The World Part 1, and the main villain of the French revolution segment. King Louis is the exaggerated humorous depiction of the infamous King Louis XVI, whose callus disregard for the public was the tipping point for the French Revolution. He is one of several roles portrayed by Mel Brooks himself.

French Revolution

The French Revolution is the last main segment of History of the World Part 1, which unfolds as a high-light reel of traditionally covered history drama, though each portrayed in a humorous light. As unrest grows in France, the king's advisor Count de Monet goes to speak with King Louis about preparations for potential rebellion. Count de Monet finds King Louis playing skeet, but instead of launching clay pigeons is instead launching peasants into the air and trying to hit them before they reach the ground. Count de Monet informs the king that the people are planning to rebel, once the king is convinced of the danger Count de Monet advises that they find a decoy to occupy the throne while the real king goes into hiding. Soon Count de Monet notices the garçon de pisse (who carries a bucket for nobles to relieve themselves where they stand), Jacques, looks very much like King Louis (both roles are portrayed by Mel Brooks). The King orders Monet to make arrangements to have "the piss boy" made-up to look like him and put in the palace the moment rebellion seems to hit the boiling point.

While Jacques is being made-up in the king's garb, King Louis is visited by Mademoiselle Rimbaud. Rimbaud arrives to plead the king to pardon her father from Bastille. The King, who has next to no problems with making exceptions to the law when it suits him, ask Mademoiselle Rimbaud what her father did to be sent to the Bastille in the first place. Mademoiselle Rimbaud says he was imprisoned for a comment at a dinner-party. When King Louis asks the nature of Rimbaud senior's faux pas, Mademoiselle Rimbaud quotes his statement of "The poor ain't so bad". King Louis is appalled at the very notion and says that for someone to say "The poor ain't so bad" is so obscene she was lucky he was still alive. Mademoiselle Rimbaud renews her pleads to pardon her father's crime and release him. King Louis, who had been ogling Rimbaud the moment she appeared before him tells her he will pardon her father if she comes to his palace later that day and has sex with him. When she refuses, King Louis re-enforces his request by telling her if she doesn't her father will be killed. With no other options Mademoiselle Rimbaud consents to allow herself to be ravaged by the king and leaves.

Shortly after Jacques is disguised as King Louis the streets irrupt with angry mobs while King Louis is waiting for Mademoiselle Rimbaud. Count de Monet arrives to tell King Louis of the news. King Louis quickly flees the palace and orders the arrangements to be made for Jacques to take his place as a stand in. Jacques is left perplexed as to his purpose but when Mademoiselle Rimbaud goes to meet King Louis, Jacques tells her the sex is unnecessary and forges the King's signature on a release form to allow her father freedom, despite this he is still mistaken for the king and set to be hung. Though King Louis is not seen again after Jacques takes his place he will later be found while in hiding and killed, as the entire sketch is based on actual French history.

Personality

True to most films on King Louis XVI, and a fair amount of historical records as well, King Louis is corrupt, decadent and crude.  His introduction shows he is both a hypocrite and oblivious to the feelings of others. He comments that the peasants are his loyal and loving people even while launching peasants into the air and then shooting them for fun. Every woman the king passes he flirts with, fondles and/or makes-out with. The King has little respect for his own attendants, sacrificing Jacques, making fun of Count de Monet's name by calling him "Count the Money" and ordering his entire human chess team to ravage the woman playing the queen on the board, which he promptly joins in on. As shown when the revolution starts he is a shameless coward who does not even begin concerns with addressing the outrage of his people and just puts off dealing with them to indulges his vices until they rebel and he quickly goes into hiding.

Trivia

  • King Louis was Brooks's take more on movie portrayals of King Louis than historical ones.
  • By all accounts very few liberties were taken between Brooks's King Louis XVI and the real one, at least in sentiment if not actions.
  • The entire sketch burrows heavily from Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, except mainly shown from the point of view of the nobility.