Brooks is the son of old-time radio and vaudeville comedian Harry Einstein. His diverse credits include directing and narrating short films for Saturday Night Live during its first season (like the "Land of Gorch" Muppets, he was dropped soon after).
As an actor, Brooks has appeared in the films Taxi Driver, The Scout, Private Benjamin, and Twilight Zone: The Movie. As a director, he's helmed and appeared in The Muse, Mother, Lost in America, and the 2005 film Looking for Comedy in a Muslim World. Brooks' voice has been heard as multiple guest voices on The Simpsons and as Marlin in Pixar's Finding Nemo.