Jerry Lewis RIP

August 21, 2017

One of the longest, most influential and most controversial showbiz careers in history has come to an end with the death Sunday of comedian Jerry Lewis at 91. To fans, he was a comic genius; while his detractors never ceased slamming him. But Jerry took that in stride, even admitting that when he was funny, he was hilarious, but when he wasn’t, he was “the worst there is.” After pouring his heart and soul into helping children with neuromuscular diseases and raising an estimated $2 billion for the MDA over the years with his telethon, he was still hounded for not being PC enough with some of his jokes and comments. You’d think that devoting your life to raising $2 billion for sick children might earn you a little slack from the PC brigades, but if so, then you don’t know them very well.

While many critics claimed to find Jerry’s wacky antics tiresome and “outdated,” his comic style still lives on today in countless disciples, from Martin Short and Jim Carrey to Eddie Murphy’s “Nutty Professor” movies to “The Simpsons” to just about any current movie involving physical comedy. He also contributed a number of innovations behind the scenes, such as being the first director to videotape takes while filming so they could be reviewed immediately, an idea that revolutionized the industry in the pre-digital camera days. His book, “The Total Filmmaker,” became the go-to textbook for film students. He could also be a fine dramatic actor when given the chance, as in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy.” And I defy even his snootiest critics to watch his hilarious live TV shows with Dean Martin and his early classics like “The Bellboy” without laughing. If they can, check to see if they haven’t died, too.


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It’s disheartening to see some of our current “everything is political” media outlets using the occasion of his death to regurgitate the attacks on his conservative political views or non-PC jokes or opinions. Where I come from, you’re taught that when someone dies, you show respect by keeping your mouth shut about your petty differences and paying respect to the person’s life. Jerry Lewis may have rankled a lot of people over 91 years, but he also raised more money for charity than possibly anyone else in history and did it while creating some comedy classics that continue to inspire young comics and lift people’s spirits more than 60 years later. How many of his critics will ever accomplish a fraction as much?

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Comments 1-5 of 6

  • Preacha Vic

    09/18/2017 09:57 AM

    We all KNOW Jerry was a kid at ? EVEN as his health steadily failed.
    His LostVegas based caregivers really made him feel at home - - Thanks beyond measure.
    A Kid at ? with a ?? for kids. There is NO love in hell; so many of us know where he's headed.

  • SCOTT MERKEL

    08/24/2017 04:44 PM

    JERRY LEWIS WAS ONE OF THOSE SPECIAL CELEBRITIES LIKE DANNY THOMAS (ST JUDES) THAT WOULD PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS. JERRY LEWIS WAS A TIRELESS ADVOCATE FOR MANY SICK FOLKS THAT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN EASILY CAST ASIDE AND FORGOTTEN. THE LABOR DAY TELETHONS WERE A STAPLE IN MY FAMILY FOR DECADES. IT WAS VERY HARD TO WATCH AS HIS DECLINING HEALTH DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS AS HOST OF THE TELETHON TOOK HIM OVER, AND I FEEL THAT HE WAS INDIGNANTLY CAST ASIDE BY THE PC FACTIONS. IN THE END, AS IN HIS SIGNATURE TELETHON CLOSING SONG, JERRY LEWIS WILL NOW NEVER WALK ALONE.

  • Drew Bernard

    08/22/2017 04:27 AM

    Ndugu (brother in Swahili) Mike, being a Sr. I grew up watching his movies and when color tv came it was the st tv ever in our house. He na Dino were a riot. Indeed there shall always be negativity about folks when they pass on. It is just a reflection ( a sad one) of how culture today. I thonk of Whitney Houston who passed away as a result of poor choices at a young age. Aah the flags at 1/2 staff, made me sick my Ndugu and then her daughter' passing not much later. I don't expect the same for Mr. Lewis (nor should there be). Just a point of verification if may and can, (being there be so much "fake news" pushed via every medium possible and fb being a prime source, I read that Jerry Lewis was not a Christian but a Jew and that he cursed publicly the Lord's name. Is there any truth to this? It doesn't change his achievements or talent and as you stated, we if so inclined, are there to honor/ grieve his loss. We are not or cannot judge and if one does have ill thoughts or memories too bad ; they be stuck with em NOT Mr. Lewis and along with that goes the saying: What other people think of me; tiz none of my business. have blessed day Ndugu Mike and ALL ye Staff at the Org. Luke 9 ; 23

  • Paula Davis

    08/21/2017 10:06 PM

    Thank you for this. You mentioned the 2 billion dollars and that is just an amazing amount of money he raised for MD. It's a legacy no one has ever achieved and you are the only one who hammered that important fact about his life home. Remember those telethons went on for what 24 hours, maybe longer. The man did this for those children with no sleep. You are so right, where has respect gone for the person that dies? We've become such an ugly nation in so many ways. Thank you again.

  • Adelina Alberghini

    08/21/2017 09:38 PM

    Amen.

Jerry Lewis RIP

August 21, 2017

One of the longest, most influential and most controversial showbiz careers in history has come to an end with the death Sunday of comedian Jerry Lewis at 91. To fans, he was a comic genius; while his detractors never ceased slamming him. But Jerry took that in stride, even admitting that when he was funny, he was hilarious, but when he wasn’t, he was “the worst there is.” After pouring his heart and soul into helping children with neuromuscular diseases and raising an estimated $2 billion for the MDA over the years with his telethon, he was still hounded for not being PC enough with some of his jokes and comments. You’d think that devoting your life to raising $2 billion for sick children might earn you a little slack from the PC brigades, but if so, then you don’t know them very well.

While many critics claimed to find Jerry’s wacky antics tiresome and “outdated,” his comic style still lives on today in countless disciples, from Martin Short and Jim Carrey to Eddie Murphy’s “Nutty Professor” movies to “The Simpsons” to just about any current movie involving physical comedy. He also contributed a number of innovations behind the scenes, such as being the first director to videotape takes while filming so they could be reviewed immediately, an idea that revolutionized the industry in the pre-digital camera days. His book, “The Total Filmmaker,” became the go-to textbook for film students. He could also be a fine dramatic actor when given the chance, as in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy.” And I defy even his snootiest critics to watch his hilarious live TV shows with Dean Martin and his early classics like “The Bellboy” without laughing. If they can, check to see if they haven’t died, too.


Commentary continues below advertisement


It’s disheartening to see some of our current “everything is political” media outlets using the occasion of his death to regurgitate the attacks on his conservative political views or non-PC jokes or opinions. Where I come from, you’re taught that when someone dies, you show respect by keeping your mouth shut about your petty differences and paying respect to the person’s life. Jerry Lewis may have rankled a lot of people over 91 years, but he also raised more money for charity than possibly anyone else in history and did it while creating some comedy classics that continue to inspire young comics and lift people’s spirits more than 60 years later. How many of his critics will ever accomplish a fraction as much?

LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.  I READ THEM.

Leave A Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

Comments 1-5 of 6

  • Preacha Vic

    09/18/2017 09:57 AM

    We all KNOW Jerry was a kid at ? EVEN as his health steadily failed.
    His LostVegas based caregivers really made him feel at home - - Thanks beyond measure.
    A Kid at ? with a ?? for kids. There is NO love in hell; so many of us know where he's headed.

  • SCOTT MERKEL

    08/24/2017 04:44 PM

    JERRY LEWIS WAS ONE OF THOSE SPECIAL CELEBRITIES LIKE DANNY THOMAS (ST JUDES) THAT WOULD PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS. JERRY LEWIS WAS A TIRELESS ADVOCATE FOR MANY SICK FOLKS THAT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN EASILY CAST ASIDE AND FORGOTTEN. THE LABOR DAY TELETHONS WERE A STAPLE IN MY FAMILY FOR DECADES. IT WAS VERY HARD TO WATCH AS HIS DECLINING HEALTH DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS AS HOST OF THE TELETHON TOOK HIM OVER, AND I FEEL THAT HE WAS INDIGNANTLY CAST ASIDE BY THE PC FACTIONS. IN THE END, AS IN HIS SIGNATURE TELETHON CLOSING SONG, JERRY LEWIS WILL NOW NEVER WALK ALONE.

  • Drew Bernard

    08/22/2017 04:27 AM

    Ndugu (brother in Swahili) Mike, being a Sr. I grew up watching his movies and when color tv came it was the st tv ever in our house. He na Dino were a riot. Indeed there shall always be negativity about folks when they pass on. It is just a reflection ( a sad one) of how culture today. I thonk of Whitney Houston who passed away as a result of poor choices at a young age. Aah the flags at 1/2 staff, made me sick my Ndugu and then her daughter' passing not much later. I don't expect the same for Mr. Lewis (nor should there be). Just a point of verification if may and can, (being there be so much "fake news" pushed via every medium possible and fb being a prime source, I read that Jerry Lewis was not a Christian but a Jew and that he cursed publicly the Lord's name. Is there any truth to this? It doesn't change his achievements or talent and as you stated, we if so inclined, are there to honor/ grieve his loss. We are not or cannot judge and if one does have ill thoughts or memories too bad ; they be stuck with em NOT Mr. Lewis and along with that goes the saying: What other people think of me; tiz none of my business. have blessed day Ndugu Mike and ALL ye Staff at the Org. Luke 9 ; 23

  • Paula Davis

    08/21/2017 10:06 PM

    Thank you for this. You mentioned the 2 billion dollars and that is just an amazing amount of money he raised for MD. It's a legacy no one has ever achieved and you are the only one who hammered that important fact about his life home. Remember those telethons went on for what 24 hours, maybe longer. The man did this for those children with no sleep. You are so right, where has respect gone for the person that dies? We've become such an ugly nation in so many ways. Thank you again.

  • Adelina Alberghini

    08/21/2017 09:38 PM

    Amen.

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