Monday, May 3, 2010

Beyond Telethons

Some people only recognize Jerry Lewis for his tireless work for Muscular Dystrophy, and his infamous Labor Day telethons.   They have no idea of the tremendous, genius body of work that he has written, directed and performed on film.  I'd like to remedy that today and present one of my favorite Lewis "bits."

This is a clip from the movie, "The Bellboy" from 1960.  Although he portrays the title character, Lewis doesn't speak one word throughout the entire film.  ALL of his humor is displayed physically.  I think it's just brilliant.

This clip is Lewis "conducting" an empty orchestra.  Notice there are no other actors present, and that he has absolutely NOTHING to work off, except a bunch of chairs, a baton, and his own amazing wit.  Jerry Lewis' style has often been referred to as silly and elementary, but I can assure you that bits like this take a tremendous amount of concentration, rehearsal, and supreme talent.  I think it's fantastic, hope you agree!

Enjoy!

46 comments:

Jessica said...

Aw, I love this!

notesfromnadir said...

Jerry was the Nutty Professor long before Eddie Murphy. And he's some sort of national hero in France! :0 Gotta love his physical comedy.

Cheeseboy said...

That is pretty darned brilliant.

citymouse said...

I grew up watching all the old Jerry Lewis movies. At the time I thought he was a goof ball... now I know what a genius he really was.

Pearl said...

He's a silly man, and I love it.

Pearl

Tree said...

Oh wow...thanks for a wonderful walk down memory lane! I love that movie and have ALWAYS loved Jerry Lewis. He is the Jim Carrey of yesteryear with his silly faces and gestures. LOL And I am one that actually watches his telethons and have donated faithfully every year to MDS. Thanks for giving me a great laugh tonight! :)

ReformingGeek said...

That Jerry is one crazy guy. He does remind me of Jim Carey!

Lucy said...

Oh thank you! That has made my day. I had forgotten just how much Jerry Lewis makes me smile. SO clever. And that initial image you have of him: how gorgeous he is there. Un-goofy and brooding and beautiful.

Cate P said...

Brilliant, and I love the pic of him too. The guy is a comic genius :)

Lisalulu said...

oh yeah, again we think alike, but you can express it so well, it makes everyone want to be you, oh wait,I think it's just me!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

I had no idea Jerry Lewis was such a talent, and he was so handsome too. Thanks for the education.
Cheers,
Robyn

gregj said...

One part of that movie that I liked was when he took one chair at a time to set up hundreds of chairs in a really big room.
Thinking back now, I can remember a lot of films of his and what a genius he was/is.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Some of my all time favorite movies are Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movies. I've always loved watching comedy movies and TV shows. I recently watched some old Bob Hope and Bing Crosby "Road" movies on TMC. I still laugh out loud just like when I was a kid. It's to bad there are so few clean ones to watch these days.

Deb said...

Please stop by and pick up an award :)

http://justshortofcrazy.blogspot.com/2010/05/you-are-my-sunshine.html

Darlene said...

I LOVED watching this!!! He was such a great actor in those movies!

smArtee said...

I love Jerry and have so many good laughing moments with him...BTW..my daughter ordered me "Up" after she saw me watching the trailer on your blog...cant wait to see it...Thanks..

Bossy Betty said...

I remember being fascinated with Jerry Lewis when I was a kid! Now I remember why!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I always loved him as a kid. He really was a comic genius. Thanks for the great reminder.

Lindzena said...

Nothing compares to the talent of these old-timey actors! Nothing! I adore them.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I had just moved to Cleveland for work and knew absolutely no one and it was winter so not much to do. They had Sunday morning Jerry and Dean Martin movies. I watched them every week! It helped me get through the winter my first year there. I love Jerry!! Thanks for the smiles.

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

Jerry Lewis looks like a stone cold fox in that first image.

chubskulit said...

Hahaha this is so funny!

lifeshighway said...

Jerry Lewis is an amazing talent and I am so glad you spent some time sharing this clip with us. He has been highly unrated because he makes his comedy look effortless.

Feeling Just Right said...

Very talented! Thanks Joan, for sharing! Loved his timing :)

yonca said...

That is a great pic of him! Actually he seems very serious in this picture..unusual:)He is a big talent.

Mumsy said...

I love Jerry Lewis...he is a very talented man.

Kellyansapansa said...

I used to watch his movies with my grandfather after school. I am in absolute awe of his talent. I don't think they'll ever be another like him!

Kelly L said...

I grew up loving Jerry Lewis - I remember seeing him on stage at the Sahara Hotel in Vegas in the 1970's - he was amazing... still is...

Great clip - love to you
Kelly
Amazing Salvation

diane said...

Thank you for the hint on how to make the text bigger.

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

Who doesn't love some silly!

Denise said...

Jerry Lewis is nothing short of brilliant! Thanks for the video, it started my day off great.

Eva Gallant said...

He definitely was a comedic genious!

iheartbowheads.blogspot.com said...

I love coming over here because I always wind up watching or reading something I never would have any other way!

Thanks!!!!

Holly

Frances said...

Jerry Lewis IS a genius!

Erika said...

So charming. I really haven't seen anything with Jerry Lewis. I saw telethon clips a couple times but that's it.

Born with a big mouth! said...

love it!

Robyn's Gift said...

I used to love watching Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movies when I was growing up. Jerry Lewis was a gifted comedian. The way he worked physical comedy was genius. I also enjoyed watching Red Skelton. Red's skit about the sea gulls was priceless. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Robyn

Lindsay @ Just My Blog said...

He is a pretty darn amazing entertainer. On top of that, he's a pretty amazing human being to put so much time, effort and money to help those with MD.

Erin said...

I love it! I love that silly humor. And I love that he doesn't actually talk. It makes it funnier when he's mouthing the words. I especially like the, "Watch me, watch me." And "I love you." moments hahah.

Ally said...

For some reason Jerry always reminds me of my very early childhood and why do I remember there being a joke that he's HUGE in France? Ha ha.

FourthGradeNothing.com

The Empress said...

I always thought he was so very handsome.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I loved watching this brilliant!
Hope you're having a great weekend!

Absolutely Ladylike said...

How amazing...he was a genius!

Cheers: Evi

Red Shoes said...

My son would watch Jim Carrey and think him to be funny... one night, an old Jerry Lewis movie was on... and we watched... and he was able to realize that a great deal of the sthick that Carrey uses, came from the genius that Jerry Lewis is...

:o)

~shoes~

Angie said...

My husband's family LOVES Jerry Lewis movies and I grew to love them too! So many of our antics come from this comic genius! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

mr.jerry my dad used to watch you every year with me he was about youre age .he and mom died 5years ago.but i still think how happy we al get when mom would call that pleage in .thank you jerry for the times you gave us.a fan till i die.michael caruso.GOD BLESS YOU.

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