Brooks pioneered an old-fashioned retro comedy with dumb jokes and silliness. The Zuckers took his concept and turboed it up: more jokes per minute than anyone had done before, but similar to Brooks in style.
Ultimately, they overtook him so that Brook’s version of things seemed weak compared to the Zuckers. It was as though he never understood the changes they wrought.
The problem was that Brooks really only produced on completely satisfying comedy (Young Frankenstein, one that came close (Silent Movie(, a couple of flawed but interesting ones Blazing Saddles, The Producers (which owes a lot to Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel) and The Twelve Chairs. Everything else was really not all that funny.
The Zuckers’s scorecard was better: One classic (Airplane!), two near great ones Naked Gun and Top Secret, a couple of good ones (the other Naked Gun movies. There was also Ruthless People and Ghost (for a change of pace). Jim Abrahams, their partner, also scored with the Hot Shots! films.
So Brooks was the pioneer. The Zuckers followed in his path, but overall did more good films than Brooks did.