Jerry Lewis: The Total Film-Maker

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Well, anyway, the man's a stone cold genius. I prefer him to Chaplin, Keaton, Tati, who else ya got? At least seven of these are masterpieces but The Ladies Man stands as quite possibly the greatest film comedy of all-time. I grovel before him while dreaming of a 12-DVD box set of his greatest (which, as always with Jerry, also means his grossest) telethon moments.

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:49 (4 years ago) Permalink

Red Zone Nutty

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:55 (4 years ago) Permalink

I prefer him to Chaplin, Keaton, Tati, who else ya got?

we part company here

already president FYI (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah i was gonna say. a lol is a lol but.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:06 (4 years ago) Permalink

preferring Lewis to Keaton is like preferring Blackmore's Night to Deep Purple

frog in a bs place (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

preferring lewis to chaplin is like preferring getting punched in the nuts to eating a pizza

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:11 (4 years ago) Permalink

hahahaha

frog in a bs place (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:13 (4 years ago) Permalink

site for jerry lewis fans: http://www.ballbustingtube.com/

don't click that btw.

frog in a bs place (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

oh now you knew i was going to click on that

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:14 (4 years ago) Permalink

all the "I cannot tell a lie" GIS results had some extraneous bullshit :(

frog in a bs place (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:18 (4 years ago) Permalink

jerry lewis chopped down the cherry tree with his big fucking dick

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

i don't even know what i'm talking about now. i'm so tired.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

Oh pish posh. He exploited the potential of cinema much more than either Chaplin or Keaton (both of whom, yes, exploited it exceedingly well and have many masterpieces under their belts). Tati may have surpassed Lewis on that level but he lacks Lewis' grotesque personality which is essential to his life-affirming effect. I'm reminded of something Richard Barrios's disdain for Al Jolson (a key Lewis progenitor) in The Singing Fool: "Charisma, when applied this relentlessly, becomes oppressive." But yo, Richard, that's precisely why we go to the movies (or listen to, I don't know, Morrissey): to witness a gargantuan, out of control ego as a way to measure the contours of our own steady paths. If I wanted an even-keeled experience, I'd knock on my neighbor's door and ask to borrow some sugar.

P.S. Pizza is stupid and boring.

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

delete "something"

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

You don't strike me as the type that needs more sugar.

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:32 (4 years ago) Permalink

I certainly don't need fuckin' pizza.

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

Bozelka, OTM itt.

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

Rosenbaum:

Why are the French so crazy about Jerry Lewis? Well, for one thing, some of them see him as being very much like America: infantile, hysterical, uncontrolled, giddy, uninhibited, tacky, energetic, inarticulate, obnoxious, sentimental, overbearing, socially and sexually maladjusted, and all over the place. (By contrast, at least on the surface, Allen is adolescent, neurotic, controlled, whiny, inhibited, preppy, lethargic, articulate, cynical, wormy, socially and sexually maladjusted, and confined.) It’s not so much a matter of necessarily loving all these qualities as it is envying or admiring or identifying with some of them, and being horrified by others — a sort of compressed model of the love-hate that many French people feel toward America as a fantasy object. I suspect that what many French people experience as the overcultivated constraints of their culture finds a welcome release in Lewis’s explosiveness and ungainliness, and their taste for freewheeling fantasy is partially met by Lewis’s remoteness from realism — the sheer wildness of his ideas as a writer-director, and the deconstructive habits such as the vulgar modernism that he shares with Mel Brooks, which periodically reminds us in various self-referential ways that we’re watching a film. (At one point in the mid-1960s, Godard described Lewis as “the only free man working in Hollywood.”)

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:45 (4 years ago) Permalink

This is probably racist.
dongmaster2 4 months ago

buzza, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:50 (4 years ago) Permalink

I seriously can't watch more than a minute or two of Jerry Lewis before my flesh starts to crawl. He's like the uncanny valley of human behavior.

SNEEZED GOING DOWN STEPS, PAIN WHEN PUTTING SOCKS ON (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 23 June 2011 18:07 (4 years ago) Permalink

dongmaster2 otm

☂ (max), Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

dongmaster2 least favorite installment of the dongmaster cycle

brazenly alive (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:05 (4 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 29 July 2011 23:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thanks, bud.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

judd apatow option doomed/saved this from the git-go

king of torts (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:24 (4 years ago) Permalink

plus that photo choice

you call it trollin' i call it steamrollin' (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

On fat ladies trying to lost weight: "Who cares?"

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 1 August 2011 13:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

lose

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 1 August 2011 13:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

I am going to miss Jerry's effortless pomposity about showbiz when he's gone; he may be the best ever at it. "I don't allow people in my family to use the term 'TV'" vs there's nothing good on. Real Sammy Maudlin stuff!

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 2 August 2011 19:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Tuesday, 2 August 2011 21:52 (4 years ago) Permalink

oh, that Berle story. I was waiting for "And then Gracie Allen picked up a fork..."

Is it possible that MDA got tired of the chairman boasting about his cocksmanship in print, at his unseemly age?

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 August 2011 18:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

I feel like I watch his movies and I don't understand them

Richard Nixon's Field of Warmth (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 8 August 2011 18:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

They are personal and idiosyncratic for sure. I wish I didn't understand Apatow's.

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Monday, 8 August 2011 18:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

Jerry live in NYC (w/ a documentary too) on his 86th birthday:

http://www.92y.org/tickets/production.aspx?pid=81040

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 February 2012 15:35 (4 years ago) Permalink

Man, I wish I could go to that. But I'm glad I got to see him live once, in Damn Yankees. He killed.

Let A Man Come In And Do The Cop Porn (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 24 February 2012 16:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

well yeah, esp when he went offscript or did 10 minutes of his Vegas act in the middle of his big song.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Friday, 24 February 2012 16:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

moderator: Richard Belzer

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:40 (4 years ago) Permalink

so, here's what happened. Coulda called it The Old Man and the Shpritz.

http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2012/03/the-indelicate-delinquent-in-manic-winter-an-evening-with-jerry-lewis/

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 17:58 (4 years ago) Permalink

Little wonder that, in a star-studded video of birthday wishes played near the tribute's end, '50s kids Werner Herzog (wishing Lewis a future "saturated with life") and Lou Reed materialized.

!!!

we can be gyros just for one day (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:15 (4 years ago) Permalink

Thanks for posting, Morbs. What a wonderful tribute. Wish I could've been there.

we can be gyros just for one day (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:17 (4 years ago) Permalink

some folx showed up on videotape AND in person, ie Jerry Stiller and Joe Piscopo.

De Niro, Bogdanovich, Letterman and the comedy team of Tom Hanks & Jonah Hill also sent regards.

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:21 (4 years ago) Permalink

It's always great to see Jer getting the respect he deserves.

Also,

we can be gyros just for one day (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:31 (4 years ago) Permalink

I'm really sorry we couldn't run a photo of him doing that from this event

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 18:34 (4 years ago) Permalink

lou reed's last record w/ Metallica is (unintentionally) funnier than anything jerry lewis has ever (intentionally) done for a laugh.

kurwa mać (Polish for "long life") (Eisbaer), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 19:02 (4 years ago) Permalink

it was nice to hear the Ladies Man butterfly gag get a big laugh

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 21 March 2012 19:19 (4 years ago) Permalink

"Thanks for the mail now baby let's wail."

Eric H., Wednesday, 21 March 2012 19:23 (4 years ago) Permalink

lengthy excerpts of October's dialogue with Scorsese; great stuff

MS: The thing about The Ladies Man and The Bellboy and The Family Jewels and all these films is, we didn’t learn in the sense that we went to the theater to learn. What I was fascinated by was that the structure of the story was so loose that you can open a door and can get into an orchestra with Les Baxter. You can get the house cut in half. There’s Helen Traubel, she’s doing her routine. I mean, there’s a story, but is there a plot? I don’t know! And so, with these pictures, it opened out heads to say, you know, you don’t have to be stuck to a three-act structure in terms of narrative. You can make a film about a guy trying to get into a building. But this really freed us in terms of thinking about what cinema is. So in terms of the timing within the frame, he does that masterfully, of course. But then in terms of the editing, how does one deal with that, if you come in for a tighter shot? When, as you set the time in The Colgate Comedy Hour, you put your foot in the turkey dinner? You remember? I saw that live.

JL: “Take your filthy hands off that bird!”

MS: The timing was impeccable. And you told me there was a slave camera, another camera that picked it up immediately. Have you had some very interesting relationships to these kinds of situations in the editing room? In terms of pacing.

JL: Well, you know how many times you plan something for a wide shot with a lot of animation and then all of a sudden you come to it and it’s not what you really want to do. And you start trimming and taking a piece from here and a piece from there… And I’ll play that back when I sit in the editing room, and I’ll do what I used to call “death march” footage—you I going to get killed unless you fix this!—and you talk to yourself once in awhile.

MS: It’s true, because the pacing is like music. And you do music. You know, as a recording artist, you conduct an orchestra. Comedy is music that way. Cinema is music. That timing carries through. It’s impeccable. I’d seen some of the Chaplin films earlier, but they are not the way your stuff was presented at that time in the late ‘50s/early ‘60s. To be able to respond to a visual image that had such fluidity to it in terms of pacing and comic timing. We’d never really seen anything like it. And the scripted scenes and improvised scenes… The improvisation that you would do physically would fit within the scripted scene. That’s another issue, I think: you had more control of it because you were doing it.

JL: I had holes to fall in all over the set. No, really. You never know when I’m going to use one! [Laughter] I gave of myself completely. I’ve got so many more scars on my body, you’d think I’d played NFL football! I came out of a three-story window into cardboard boxes, which were supposed to save me, and I landed on the corner of them. I’ll show that to you later. [Laughter] No, I won’t.

http://www.filmcomment.com/blog/jerry-lewis-and-martin-scorsese/

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 2 March 2016 21:15 (1 month ago) Permalink

tonight's post-screening fare of Hollywood or Bust promises footage of multiple Dean & Jerry reunions -- there's more than just the mid-'70s telethon, beats me.

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 3 March 2016 18:09 (1 month ago) Permalink

i def think Living It Up is the most underrated of the Dean & Jerry films i've seen

http://www.bkmag.com/2016/03/02/the-best-old-movies-on-a-big-screen-this-week-nyc-repertory-cinema-picks-march-2-8/4/

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Friday, 4 March 2016 23:00 (1 month ago) Permalink

Never saw that one. Haven't seen a ton of D&J, for that matter...just Hollywood or Bust, Artists and Models (my favorite of these three), and You're Never Too Young. The latter was my introduction to Prime Jerry/Jerry The Genius, and it completely turned me around -- prior to seeing that, I was the typical anti-Jerry snob, only thinking of him as the telethon guy. As soon as he started to move, it was, "Ah, so THAT'S where Pee-Wee Herman got about 70% of his schtick!" (among other realizations)

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 5 March 2016 00:05 (1 month ago) Permalink

Violet Lucca on work, wealth and self-made men in JL's films....

Being the utterly wonderful noveau riche narcissist he is, Lewis would always portray these man-children while wearing a large gold pinky ring, giant wedding ring, and, sometimes, a gold watch, giving more than a touch of cognitive dissonance to his performances. (As I have posited elsewhere, the wedding ring might’ve diffused any guilt he experienced about his rampant infidelities at the time.)...

Despite their anarchic goofiness, this cycle of films embody some readily identifiable long-standing myths about class and class mobility in America. In The Errand Boy (61) and The Patsy (64, which effectively blends The Errand Boy with The Bellboy), delivery boys achieve fame through their clumsiness, and rise to become comedians of Lewis’s stature—even though, in fact, pratfalls and rubber faces require greater-than-average muscular control. (Myth: exceptional talent alone will get you ahead; it’s only a matter of time before you’re noticed.) In It’s Only Money (62), Lewis’s idiot private eye turns out to be the long-lost nephew of a wealthy heiress; in The Family Jewels (65), Lewis’s lovable idiot chauffeur gets to be Donna Butterworth’s daddy and inherits the millions. (Myth: you only need that one dead relative you didn’t know existed to cash in. This one is pervasive judging from the number of inheritance scams and unclaimed money services.)

http://www.filmcomment.com/blog/jerry-lewis-wealth/

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 7 March 2016 20:59 (1 month ago) Permalink

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 8 March 2016 07:31 (1 month ago) Permalink

rewatch of his (theatrical) directorial swan song tonight

pitless watermelon

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 March 2016 02:46 (1 month ago) Permalink

They had what I assume to be a 1st ed. hardcover copy of the book this thread took its name from in the collectibles case at my local Half-Price for $100.

Now I Know How Joan of Arcadia Felt (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 14 March 2016 02:50 (1 month ago) Permalink

I saw that book for cheap once and inexplicably didn't buy it. A new printing is rumored.

Jerry has a "pointless cameo" as Nic Cage's dad in a new thriller.

http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/the-trust-review-nicolas-cage-elijah-wood-sxsw-1201729052/

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 14 March 2016 14:53 (1 month ago) Permalink

Happy birthday, Jerry!

A Fifth Beatle Dies (Tom D.), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 11:46 (1 month ago) Permalink

not sure i've posted the 'turkey dinner' sketch, recently discussed by JL with Scorsese.

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 14:30 (1 month ago) Permalink

Max Rose to be distributed this summer, finally

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jerry-lewis-max-rose-lands-876217

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 20:15 (1 month ago) Permalink

Chicamaw (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 16 March 2016 20:55 (1 month ago) Permalink

OK, so a documentary about The Day the Clown Cried has just come on my TV screen...

A Fifth Beatle Dies (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 March 2016 21:33 (1 month ago) Permalink

... ugh, Terry Wogan

A Fifth Beatle Dies (Tom D.), Sunday, 20 March 2016 21:34 (1 month ago) Permalink

Was just watching that too:

We've got ten years to wait.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 20 March 2016 22:25 (1 month ago) Permalink

thx guys for staying on form

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 21 March 2016 00:45 (1 month ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 10 April 2016 00:29 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

Max Rose is nothing special, tho Old Jerry has a nice gravitas. (The most kinetic performance in the film is a one-scene climactic spin by Dean Stockwell.)

JL entered the packed MoMA theater (assisted by his people) for it, got a standing ovation, and loudly asked "When do we eat?" The he did his usual passive / aggressive japery in the postscreening interview and Q&A. Someone asked him what growing up in Newark was like in the '30s. "Do you want to know about my bris? Jesus Christ. NEXT!"

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 11 April 2016 14:08 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

and here it is

we can be heroes just for about 3.6 seconds (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 April 2016 10:38 (6 days ago) Permalink


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