Monday, 21 August 2017

RIP Jerry Lewis

It's been a terrible weekend for entertainers, first we lose Bruce Forsyth and now we have lost Jerry Lewis at the age of 91.

Like Brucie, I have an awkward relationship with Jerry Lewis. As a kid who loved vintage comedy, I really enjoyed the comedy of Jerry Lewis. Being a fan of double acts like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and our own Morecambe and Wise, I  was specifically a fan of his work with Dean Martin. However, tastes change from childhood to adulthood and, even in my teenage years, I began to find Lewis' shtick a little too full-on and a bit embarrassing. In the past twenty years I can name just two Lewis films I've repeatedly returned too; Scorsese's The King of Comedy and Peter Chelsom's Funny Bones. Tellingly, these were straighter affairs which played on his legend rather than afforded him the opportunity to be the comic he was.

But there's a child in me who is deeply saddened by his loss and I want to thank him for all the good times and the laughter.

Of course, now he has gone the big discussion is will we finally be able to see the film he so conclusively banned - his ill advised 1972's holocaust movie The Day The Clown Cried?



  1. Did you see the interview he "gave" on his 90th birthday where he set out to be as unpleasant and unco-operative as possible ? Not a very amiable guy and his solo films from the sixties are self-indulgent garbage. But like you say the films with Martin will endure.

    1. I did yeah, he came across as a deeply unlikeable person but then, I believe he always was going by what people have said about working with him down the years. Self indulgent is definitely the right phrase; indeed it's one that came up in a conversation I was having elsewhere, on Letterboxd to be precise. It's that self indulgent streak that led to him thinking he could make The Day The Clown Cried.