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 (2 years ago) Permalink

Red Zone Nutty

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:55 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

hahahaha

frog in a bs place (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:13 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

delete "something"

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

ephendophile (Eric H.), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I certainly don't need fuckin' pizza.

Kevin John Bozelka, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

Bozelka, OTM itt.

shake it, shake it, sugary pee (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:40 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is probably racist.
dongmaster2 4 months ago

buzza, Thursday, 23 June 2011 17:50 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

dongmaster2 otm

☂ (max), Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

dongmaster2 least favorite installment of the dongmaster cycle

brazenly alive (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Thursday, 23 June 2011 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Friday, 29 July 2011 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

System, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thanks, bud.

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:17 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

plus that photo choice

you call it trollin' i call it steamrollin' (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 1 August 2011 13:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

lose

third-generation stripper (Eric H.), Monday, 1 August 2011 13:57 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

2 weeks pass...

moderator: Richard Belzer

Literal Facepalms (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:40 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

Eric H., Wednesday, 21 March 2012 19:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

this one?

JCL, Wednesday, 16 October 2013 18:08 (6 months ago) Permalink

That'd be it, thanks--I was searching Jerry Lewis/Muhammad Ali.

clemenza, Wednesday, 16 October 2013 18:14 (6 months ago) Permalink

Hey, Morbs, if you want a signed first edition of Jerry Lewis In Person, my cousin has one up on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/331046873396?roken=rzF8IT

My question is primarily riparian (Phil D.), Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:04 (6 months ago) Permalink

I tried to make it through the doc last night (loads of talking heads - Seinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Eddie Murphy, Spielberg, Carol Burnett, etc. - all saying how if you don't "get" Lewis then you don't get comedy) and I couldn't make it. He's a fascinating figure in a lot of ways but his schtick, particularly the "classic" clips they played from his films just don't make me laugh. For me the funniest bit was a clip from his recent stage tour where he asked for a stool and someone from stage-left threw one at him.

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:10 (6 months ago) Permalink

I watch the typewriter bit or the falling vases-bit and I marvel at the coordination and skill that are abundantly in evidence but I don't actually laugh.

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:11 (6 months ago) Permalink

I always found the typewriter bit a lot more impressive than funny too. And the doc was really hit-or-miss. For whatever reason, the "classic" shit that's always trotted out for Jerry retrospectives is often either not his best shit, or yanked from the context that made it funny.

But if you want Solid Laffs, you can't go wrong with The Errand Boy.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:22 (6 months ago) Permalink

just pretend I put that MO'D quote about getting laughs being the lowest form of comedy here.

srsly, Lewis's post-Dean films -- even the good ones -- are generally less ha-ha-funny than, say, their live TV appearances or the best moments of the M&L movies. You either get fascinated by being immersed in his world or you don't.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:41 (6 months ago) Permalink

DOn't think I've ever seen a M&L movie. Did they ever get shown on TV in the UK?

Mark G, Friday, 18 October 2013 14:50 (6 months ago) Permalink

Not very often, I don't think, whereas I grew up with The Disorderly Orderly, Nutty Professor et al. I'm a fan, shoot me.

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Friday, 18 October 2013 14:53 (6 months ago) Permalink

... and Who's Minding the Store, I don't know how many times I saw that as a child

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Friday, 18 October 2013 14:56 (6 months ago) Permalink

i saw a few m&l movies on uk tv back in the 90s. hollywood or bust and artists and models are the ones i remember.

sleepingsignal, Friday, 18 October 2013 15:22 (6 months ago) Permalink

I have the Deano e.p. for Hollywood or Bust.

JL's not on it.

Mark G, Friday, 18 October 2013 15:28 (6 months ago) Permalink

(I was young enough to wonder where Bust was.)

Mark G, Friday, 18 October 2013 15:28 (6 months ago) Permalink

This was the last film that Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin appeared in together. According to Lewis in his autobiography, he and Dean did not speak to each other off camera during the entire film shoot. In addition, Lewis claimed that this is the only one of his films that he has never seen, citing it as too painful to watch.

sleepingsignal, Friday, 18 October 2013 15:42 (6 months ago) Permalink

teaching at USC 1967

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 October 2013 20:35 (5 months ago) Permalink

needed work on the chalk drawings imho

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 31 October 2013 03:48 (5 months ago) Permalink

Jonathan Rosenbaum's notes for the Viennale tribute to JL:

Indeed, the fact that the monster impact of Martin and Lewis on American society of the 1950s briefly preceded that of Elvis Presley suggests that, in their own manic fashion, Dean and Jerry helped to usher in the youth culture of the 1950s and its own liberating physical impulses (associated mainly with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll) in which Lewis’s body spoke louder than his words (which often took the form of gibberish anyway) and seemed to have an erupting and convulsive will of its own, cutting through all the multiple restraints that characterized American society during this period. (See, in particular, the extraordinary and singular dances performed by Lewis in such films as Sailor Beware, Living It Up, You’re Never Too Young [1954], Cinderfella [1959], The Ladies Man [1961], and The Nutty Professor [1962].)Despite the fact that Lewis was saddled with a producer at Paramount, Hal B. Wallis, determined to keep his and Martin’s comedies as innocuous and as formulaic as possible — a service Wallis provided even more ruinously to Elvis Presley a little later by similarly and systematically de-radicalizing and dry-cleaning his star’s image and appeal in relation to sex, ethnicity, race, and politics — Lewis, unlike Presley, gradually acquired enough clout to exercise creative control as writer, producer, and director, even though he initially received no screen credit for this. Wallis fully succeeded, however, in depriving Lewis of any of the cultural prestige that he routinely assigned to his adaptations of Broadway dramas during the same period — many of these about frustrated middle-aged woman (e.g., Come Back, Little Sheba, The Rose Tattoo, The Rainmaker, Summer and Smoke) — and sometimes being rewarded for his good middlebrow taste with Oscars. For Wallis and his constituency, “art” usually meant the legitimate stage (especially Tennessee Williams), literature, and/or foreign actors such as Anna Magnani and Anthony Quinn — lessons that Woody Allen would benefit from (as would Arthur Penn, Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, among other culturally ambitious American directors) when he openly emulated European filmmakers and “serious” American playwrights, something Lewis has never done....

http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/2013/10/the-lewis-contradiction/

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 November 2013 17:07 (5 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Fitting my theory that Jerry doesn't even believe what he's saying during some of his most quotable outbursts, in this case "Women aren't funny," here he goes on at great length to praise Carol Burnett as a great artist and clown. Bonuses of chomping on candy and the "garbage" (entertainment, presumably) America has endured since 1948:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtfOcO9vj0c#t=114

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 02:45 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

88 today

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 16 March 2014 05:45 (1 month ago) Permalink

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 16 March 2014 10:07 (1 month ago) Permalink

one of my favorite scenes:

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 16 March 2014 15:12 (1 month ago) Permalink


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