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 (six years ago) Permalink

Red Zone Nutty

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

hahahaha

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

delete "something"

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

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

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

I certainly don't need fuckin' pizza.

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

Bozelka, OTM itt.

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

This is probably racist.
dongmaster2 4 months ago

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

dongmaster2 otm

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

dongmaster2 least favorite installment of the dongmaster cycle

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

one month passes...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

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

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

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

Thanks, bud.

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

plus that photo choice

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

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

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

lose

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

six 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 (five 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 (five 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 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

moderator: Richard Belzer

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

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

Also,
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8k7m4e2TYeU/ScMKqlC1SCI/AAAAAAAACmY/ETY0vSaTqwg/s400/glass.bmp

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

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

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

Orson Welles:

“When he goes too far, he’s heaven; it’s just when he doesn’t go too far that he’s unendurable.”

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 30 August 2017 07:49 (two months ago) Permalink

Spot on, there.

Mark G, Wednesday, 30 August 2017 08:12 (two months ago) Permalink

the Genius inseparable from the Asshole

http://www.tiff.net/the-review/au-revoir-mr-lewis/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:29 (two months ago) Permalink

i love that! this scene is in the theremin documentary

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 3 September 2017 18:38 (two months ago) Permalink

TCM is showing some Jerry today: Nutty Professor @ 5pm pst, King of Comedy @7pst, The Stooge @9pm & Bell Boy @ 11pm

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 4 September 2017 20:05 (two months ago) Permalink

I hope the Carpenters saw the last 30 seconds of this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7j-oWaNUkc

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 September 2017 22:38 (two months ago) Permalink

Lazy impersonations of Lewis focus on the mania and miss those pauses the perfectionist, preternaturally gifted physical comedian would lace into his bits. A random limb swiftly raised then replaced just as quickly, the intention realized as useless almost the instant it’s conceived; the trailing-off sentence fragments and swallowed coughs, a need to articulate the dilemma strangled by the pointlessness (or impossibility?) of the effort; the childlike defensive stance, crouched so his butt sticks out and face juts forward, and cautious tread—more a single legged-pivot with, somehow, forward momentum—around the problem; the hand briefly cradling the brow beginning to seethe. It’s a magnificent collection of cancelled gestures and never-stated oaths, as if even Lewis’s frustration was being frustrated. And then—and only then, snarky shouters of nasal freundlavens should note—the explosion.

But it’s where these outbursts are embedded, particularly in Lewis’s self-directed films, that sets them above. Working hard on the Martin and Lewis pictures, developing his craft even as he began reaching for a relevancy and pathos beyond the gibbering of The Kid (a stagehand on their TV show once asked what bit of business Lewis was endlessly rehearsing; “Shakespeare shit,” snarled Dean), Lewis began second-guessing and bossing around such talented but uninspired directors as Norman Taurog; but Frank Tashlin he studied. From the former animator he learned the infinite possibilities of a cartoon world made flesh, and the visual advantages of a bright, modernist palette. To Tashlin’s anarchic satire of mid-century America, Lewis added the element that shall forever divide his followers from his detractors: an ego that was monstrous, to be sure, but also so self-aware of its own needs and limitations it couldn’t help but be tuned in to its fragility as well, and the permeability of what we like to think of as our immutable selves. “The Lewisian person is not merely inconsistent,” Chris Fujiwara has written, “he is discontinuous.”

http://parallax-view.org/2017/08/22/not-find-hilarious-celebrating-jerry-lewis/

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 5 September 2017 20:05 (two months ago) Permalink

Watched Who's Minding the Store? the other day. Taking note of the incredible number of brand name department store items constantly on display made me think about how these films, whether Tashlin or Jerry-directed, always give you so much to look at in the backgrounds and how often it's of a consumerist nature. There's also, for example, the supermarket-destruction scene in The Disorderly Orderly and all the modernistic hotel trappings in The Bellboy. Even as "satire of mid-century America" these films really revel in the most modern aspects of consumer culture. And Jerry's dork characters often sport cool, contemporary clothes (by Sy Devore?), which make them (him) seem that much more up-to-date.

Would have to say the out-of-control vacuum cleaner bit in Who's Minding the Store? has got to be one of Jerry's all-time best set pieces. Complete chaos, total madness.

Watched The Geisha Boy too and was somewhat disappointed that the Jerry character couldn't have found more time for the young Suzanne Pleshette in addition to all the time he devotes to the little Japanese boy. Couldn't quite understand his coolness to her.

Josefa, Tuesday, 5 September 2017 21:29 (two months ago) Permalink

I rewatched The Bellboy last night; both Jerrys undone by modernism.

I also noticed in my first watch of The Delicate Delinquent that, as a single 'juvenile' slumdweller, he was wearing his wedding ring.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 5 September 2017 21:48 (two months ago) Permalink

I've noticed that Jerry wears his wedding ring in every one of his films (at least in the solo years)!

Josefa, Tuesday, 5 September 2017 22:04 (two months ago) Permalink

At least one of the obit thinkpieces also mentioned his expensive watch, jewelry etc in Hardly Working, to name one.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 September 2017 01:33 (two months ago) Permalink

Wondering what Serge G and Jane B had to do The Day the Clown Cried. My skills aren't good enough to understand the Dutch voiceover.

When I Get To The Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 September 2017 03:00 (two months ago) Permalink

please explain

Josefa, Wednesday, 6 September 2017 06:39 (two months ago) Permalink

There is a Dutch video discussing and showing the filming of The Day the Clown Cried and Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin are on set. Can't find right this second.

When I Get To The Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 September 2017 10:29 (two months ago) Permalink

apparently they were just visiting

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 September 2017 11:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Still

When I Get To The Borad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 6 September 2017 11:10 (two months ago) Permalink

Jerry made some home productions w/ his famous friends; there's scuttle butt about trying to get some shown publicly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAFNo_rq7rc

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 11 September 2017 18:11 (two months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Watched Jerry's hourlong 1959 TV remake of The Jazz Singer, which is primarily a fascinating piece of psychohistory, and of course ends with him singing "Kol Nidre" in a tallis and clown nose.
(He also does a funny bit with a trumpet at the start.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBe0qy5k8vk

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 1 October 2017 14:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Watched that a few years ago; fascinating indeed. And it's the first appearance of Serious/Angry Jerry, right?

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 1 October 2017 14:55 (one month ago) Permalink

first? not sure

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 1 October 2017 15:02 (one month ago) Permalink


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