I once saw Lewis live at a club in Denver in the late ’70’s. The slapstick comic of my childhood told “jokes” that were so base and used language that was so blue, unfortunately that is my lasting impression of Jerry Lewis. Glad he used his stardom to help others.
I knocked him off his feet once.
I was late for a rehearsal and walking as fast as I could down 5th Avenue. Jerry Lewis was being dropped off in front of his hotel. I didn’t notice.
His body guard(s) cleared the walkway. I flew right through the group of people and his guard yelled at me. I turned around fast and my instrument slammed into Mr Lewis.
When I felt I hit someone, I turned again and looked down to see Jerry Lewis staring up at me.
Ooh ! So sorry !
He was stunned and people were racing to help.
I said sorry again and then said… ‘It looks like you have plenty of help and I’m late for rehearsal. Bye !’
He fell back and laughed.
I later read that he could be nasty. Wasn’t nasty to me…that I know.
Jerry was the master of tragicomedy…the ability to do either demonstrated his genius. What I didn’t realize was that he invented ‘video assist’ which allowed filmmakers to view the scene immediately though it was being shot in film. THAT ALONE was genius!
I’m sure he’s not resting–just doing pratfall after pratfall in an alternate universe. Thanks for all the laughs, Mr. Lewis…I’m sure many of us will catch up with you–sooner or later!!!
Some on here see the need to express his ‘bad’ side. Well, how would you feel if you made it to 91 after suffering so many debilitating diseases? That and his well understood penchant for perfection. Gotta say: I’d be tempted to be a bit on the cranky side myself. So, how’s about ya’ll lighten up and pay some respect? Couldn’t hoit…