I don't consider myself star struck, but when Jerry Lewis walked into the restaurant I grabbed my husband's arm and (quietly) exclaimed "Oh my, that's Jerry Lewis!" We talked about how Lewis has lent not just his name, but has given so much of his time and talent to raise funds for medical research. Inspired, my husband wrote a check for Lewis' upcoming Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) telethon. We asked the maître d' to deliver it. In a few minutes, the maître d' returned and said that Mr. Lewis would like to meet us. Standing by Mr. Lewis' table, I was immediately put at ease by the fact that he was the only one in the restaurant dressed more casually than the two of us! Here's to Jerry Lewis and his years of dedication to his cause.
"Jerry Lewis was the first entertainer to release his Inner Child - and he's never been entirely successful at locking it up again." This Mr. Show Biz fan site includes a bio and a complete filmography with links to reviews (look under Credits). I especially enjoyed the chronological news links culled from ABC News stories. For example, last month a judge revoked the probation of a man convicted of stalking Lewis.
Although Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin performed at the Paramount Theater on Broadway in the fifties, Lewis' dream of "doing Broadway" was unfulfilled until February of 1995, when he opened at the Marquis Theater as the star of "Damn Yankees." The U.S. Tour played more than 60 cities to more than 1,017,000 people. Lewis performed in approximately 616 shows and "tossed in excess of 8,624 canes" in his role as Satan.
How do you explain Jerry Lewis to your kids? By sharing his movies. In addition to what's available at the video store, each month at least a dozen of his movies show up on television. For example, in August on channels such as American Movie Classics, Bravo, Cinemax, HBO, Starz, and WGN of Chicago, fourteen of Lewis' movies were shown twenty-eight times. The schedule includes a single-sentence movie synopsis, the year, the length, the movie rating (of course, many predate the rating system), the director, the stars and a critic's rating on a scale of one to four stars.
As National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Jerry Lewis has personified the fight against neuromuscular diseases for more than four decades. The most effective fund-raiser in television history, Lewis' thirty-three Labor Day Telethons have raised more than $850 million. This year, in addition to its broadcast on 200 TV stations, the telethon will be webcast. To tune into the live show (which starts Sunday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m.), you will need the free RealPlayer plugin. Donations are processed via a secure server. Look for the olive green "DONATE" button.
Administered by Jerry Lewis' son Christopher Lewis, this cyber-museum has full access to the complete film, television, radio, stage, recording, photo, and document archives of "Hollywood's true King of Comedy." Fans will enjoy the decade-by-decade time line of Lewis' career (starting with his 1940 high school photo), the random factoids (Lewis is the only entertainer in history to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize), and the discussion forum. My favorite clicks are the dozens of video and audio clips in RealPlayer format.