1. This scene in Young Frankenstein successfully parodies Universal Horror films of the 1930's by setting up well the scientist character and his body of work. Clearly, in Dr. Frankenstein's speech, he knows a great deal about the central nervous system, which is essential to illustrate as he becomes a Dr. seeking to reanimate a human being. Without this set-up of a scientist in his lab, you don't understand the parody, nor the homage to 1930's horror movies experienced later in the film.
2. Being the fantastic writer that he was, Wilder moves between comic subtlety and broad slapstick humor, and back again, effortlessly. A broad stroke of slapstick humor is witnessed when Victor experiences his outburst while demonstrating reflex muscles on his unsuspecting subject. Then, in an immediate turn to the subtlety, the subject looks at Dr. Frankenstein confused before resuming his posture as the perfect subject, although now guarded. The camera hanging on the subject capturing his reaction after the strike was comic genius that resonated with the audience and a perfect testament to the subtle comedy Wilder was so great at. Another fantastic moment of subtle comedy comes when Dr. Frankenstein is entertaining a question from a student, the student rises and begins to call him by an unassumed pronunciation of his last name, just one look from Dr. FrONKenstein reminds the student to correct himself in pronunciation. Just that look, again acts as a testament to WIlder's subtle comedic force. After the line of questioning lengthens, WIlder's subtlety and jokes make way for a slapstick outburst in which he stabs himself with a scalpel. These moments and the one we do not get to see, the long pause after the Dr. realizes he has stabbed himself and attempts to remain in control over the situation while experiencing extreme pain truly show the comedic force Wilder had in both the arts of subtle comedy and broad slapstick farce. His greatness is truly missed!
3. On the most base level, no, this film nor its gags would have worked as well had the film been shot in color because that was not the artist's vision. Gene Wilder explicitly stated, at the earliest inception of the film that he wanted the project to be shot in black and white. If his wishes never came to fruition the film would have lost the heart that was injected by Wilder's freedom of artistic expression. Without the obvious parallels, all of which being in black and white, Young Frankenstein to 1930's Universal horror films a bit of the parody would have been lost had the film been in color.