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Jerry Lewis at 80
March 13, 2006 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Jerry Lewis at 80 (more inside)
posted by matteo (46 comments total)

 
Lewis on the homoerotic subtext of his relationship with Dean Martin:
He gave me that smile again–warm but ever so slightly cool around the edges. It bathed you in its glow, yet didn't let you in. Men don't like to admit it, but there's something about a truly handsome guy who also happens to be truly masculine–what they call a man's man–that's as magnetic to us as it is to women. That's what I want to be like, you think. Maybe if I hang around with him, some of that'll rub off on me.
***

Peter Bogdanovich on that silly French thing:
Yeah, it's one of the stupider jokes that the French love Jerry Lewis. Americans say it all the time, and it's so stupid because what they forget is that Jerry Lewis was an enormously popular star in America for about 25 years, and then he went down a bit, and then the French said he's great, and the Americans said, "Hah, the French like Jerry Lewis." But you know, so did you.
***

Godard's love for Le Roi du Crazy

***

"He deserves an Oscar"

***

Jerry Lewis old MeFi threads
posted by matteo at 10:13 AM on March 13, 2006


Y'know... I predicted he'd be 80 this year, back when he was 79...
posted by jpburns at 10:13 AM on March 13, 2006


No "glavin" tag?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:16 AM on March 13, 2006


freun leyvin!
posted by stenseng at 10:19 AM on March 13, 2006


I thought this was going to be an obit thread.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:21 AM on March 13, 2006


Heeey Lady!

there's something about a truly handsome guy who also happens to be truly masculine–what they call a man's man–that's as magnetic to us as it is to women.

This is true. My best friend (on the right) is an exceptionally handsome guy. He's also a policeman, a former fireman and paramedic, was in a band, is wealthy, and there was a picture of him in the Daily News taking a child out of a burning building. We used to call him the black hole of female attention. I actually once saw a group of toddler-aged girls surround him outside my apartment and start making goo-goo eyes at him.

It could get frustrating playing Ralph Malph to his Fonzie, but we also used to say that 'we'd have to kill him, if he wasn't such a nice guy.' And he was: a great guy to share a drink with, go out for hot dogs or to shoot the shit about sports and music. So he had as much of a male following as a female one. Like Dean, he was blessed with that certain charisma. And he shares his enthusiasm for sking the tarbender for tee martoonis.
posted by jonmc at 10:26 AM on March 13, 2006


I'm going to go hang out with jonmc's friends.
posted by Balisong at 10:45 AM on March 13, 2006


the Americans said, "Hah, the French like Jerry Lewis." But you know, so did you.

No, I never did. He's always been annoying more than funny. Jim Carrey, too. I also did not love Lucy. Or Raymond, for that matter.

And besides being prone to making unfounded generalizations, Bogdanovich is hugely overrated as a director.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:48 AM on March 13, 2006


No, I never did. He's always been annoying more than funny. Jim Carrey, too. I also did not love Lucy. Or Raymond, for that matter.

Carrey and Raymond I can do without, but Lewis and Lucille Ball were comic geniuses.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on March 13, 2006


I couldn't stand his annoying simpleton characters, and it was a perennial joke that French people liked him for unfathomable reasons. Yet he ably played one serious part that I know of, in the redoubtable Funny Bones, one of the greatest movies of the 90's.
posted by jam_pony at 10:57 AM on March 13, 2006


Yet he ably played one serious part that I know of

You need to check out Scorsese's King Of Comedy, where Lewis plays totally straight-faced, and quite excellently.
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on March 13, 2006


Re: King of Comedy - I agree, he was brilliant in that movie.
posted by davebush at 11:12 AM on March 13, 2006


IMHO King of Comedy is good only because of Lewis and the bizarre malignant chemistry of him and Sandra Bernhard.

Lewis is great. For all sorts of reasons. He is the consummate pro and a serious humanitarian.
posted by tkchrist at 11:12 AM on March 13, 2006


"Where the fuck's the money going?

What, to keep Jerry's hair black?

Where's the money going? Think about it.

Frank Sinatra: dead. Dean Martin: dead.
Sammy Davis: dead.

Jerry Lewis got a full head of black hair."

-Chris Rock
posted by kosem at 11:24 AM on March 13, 2006


I've always thought Jerry Lewis was an overrated hack more Crusty the Clown than anything else. Not funny, annoying and full of fake sincerity.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:25 AM on March 13, 2006


.

Oh, wait. He's still alive?
posted by Eideteker at 11:28 AM on March 13, 2006


"Where the fuck's the money going? What, to keep Jerry's hair black? Where's the money going? Think about it. Frank Sinatra: dead. Dean Martin: dead. Sammy Davis: dead. Jerry Lewis got a full head of black hair."
posted by wakko at 11:32 AM on March 13, 2006


oh man, on preview: owned
posted by wakko at 11:32 AM on March 13, 2006


Jerry always annoyed me no end too, but I must say, his vicious send up of Dino as the Buddy Love character in "the Nutty Professor" is utter genius.
posted by psmealey at 11:37 AM on March 13, 2006


Nonetheless, I have un unfathomable desire to see The Day the Clown Cried.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:49 AM on March 13, 2006


Mr Lewis keeps a pristine copy in his vault, Astro. get yourself invited for dinner at Jerry's, maybe if you ask nicely he'll run the print for you
posted by matteo at 11:54 AM on March 13, 2006


I didn't think much of his movies, but his bits with Dean on The Colgate Comdy Hour are still damn funny, IMO.
posted by Bearman at 12:09 PM on March 13, 2006


brush with jerry: my mother was hit in the head with a football thrown by jerry lewis while she was an undergrad at Arizona State Univ; he was filming something on campus at the time... she's pretty sure she inadvertently walked through his game.

"get out of the way!" that's what jerry said to her.
posted by RockyChrysler at 12:18 PM on March 13, 2006


I didn't think much of his movies, but his bits with Dean on The Colgate Comdy Hour are still damn funny, IMO.

I watched an otherwise forgettable documentary DVD about Dean Maritn I got the library this weekend that was short on clips and long on nobody talking heads. But, man, they had some clips of their first ever TV performances when Lewis was about 19 and he was on fire. I couldn't stand their or his movies when I was a kid but those clips were a revelation. There you could see from where Jim Carrey came. They were a sensation at the very beginning for good reason. He had it going on when he was young.

My best friend's little sister was in The King of Comedy. I guess Jerry was like the same off-camera as well as on. Which is kind of scary to think about.
posted by y2karl at 12:28 PM on March 13, 2006


Lewis on the homoerotic subtext of his relationship with Dean Martin. . . there's something about a truly handsome guy who also happens to be truly masculine–what they call a man's man–that's as magnetic to us as it is to women.

What's really being described is the homoerotic subtext to all male power relations. Every trait men use to control the will of women they can use to control the will of other men*. What this says about men is obvious and disturbing to most males.


*One example is that married salesmen have something like twice the salaries of unmarried salesmen. presumably unmarried salesmen couldn't sell themselves to even one woman, so good luck selling whatever else it is you're selling to most men.
posted by dgaicun at 12:41 PM on March 13, 2006


Americans always seem to think that physical comedy is funny. They are wrong.

Alternately, the British always seem to think that toilets are funny. They are correct - if you're a three year old.

Thus - in order to be considered a comic genius on both sides of the Atlantic, have your bum fall off at some point in your act.

However, I believe and hope that one day civilisation will progress to the point where people realise that acting like a spazz isn't actually a sign of comic genius, and move on to laughing at actual spastics.
posted by Sparx at 12:43 PM on March 13, 2006


Every trait men use to control the will of women they can use to control the will of other men*. What this says about men is obvious and disturbing to most males.

Women have their own set of traits that they often use to do the same things. This is not news. All human relations have an aspect of power-brokerage to the. That's just life.
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on March 13, 2006


Americans always seem to think that physical comedy is funny.

Is that you, Bogdanovich?


posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:09 PM on March 13, 2006


Americans always seem to think that physical comedy is funny. They are wrong.

*hits Sparx over head with anvil*
posted by jonmc at 1:14 PM on March 13, 2006


All human relations have an aspect of power-brokerage to the.

This is an odd sentence, but you skipped the salient point, which was that men can control men using sexual traits, not simply the banal observation that people control others. If women can do the same thing with women, it's not as significant either, since male homosexuality is much more disturbing to men and women.
posted by dgaicun at 1:27 PM on March 13, 2006


*laughs hysterically, shits pants*
posted by keswick at 1:29 PM on March 13, 2006


dgaicun: at this point I have very little idea what you're getting at and I don't think you do either. Unless you're trying to show everybody how swell you are for making the 'banal observation,' that men often are controlling to women.
posted by jonmc at 1:34 PM on March 13, 2006


" I once heard a song with the lyric "I feel like Jerry Lewis in France when you hold my hand".

Jerry is all powerful, and I for one accept him as my Overlord.
posted by Gungho at 1:48 PM on March 13, 2006


and I don't think you do either. . . trying to show everybody how swell you are

Matteo's primary Lewis quote is a rather interesting piece of accidental sociology. Since you're an asshole (and rather dim) I'll be leaving the thread now.
posted by dgaicun at 2:35 PM on March 13, 2006


MetaFilter: Since You're An Asshole (And Rather Dim) I'll Be Leaving The Thread Now
posted by matteo at 2:59 PM on March 13, 2006


jonmc: Unless you're trying to show everybody how swell you are

Dgaicun is not swell.
posted by swell at 6:35 PM on March 13, 2006


I've often been tempted to post an AskMeFi question to the effect: "Does anyone REALLY know why Martin & Lewis broke up? What what really at the heart of the feud?"

This seems like a good place. The official story is so vague and doesn't really seem to account for the rabid animosity that Martin had displayed on several occassions.
posted by RavinDave at 9:15 PM on March 13, 2006


When I was a kid, I liked Jerry. Now, not so much, except if an old one catches me at the right moment, then I'll bust a gut.

I find it weird that Jerry would speak this way of Martin. For all his goofy comedy, Jerry was no slouch in the looks department.
posted by Goofyy at 3:17 AM on March 14, 2006


Since you're an asshole (and rather dim) I'll be leaving the thread now.

Hear that?

That's the sound of a million hearts breaking.
posted by jonmc at 6:05 AM on March 14, 2006


Oh Buddy Love...
posted by stenseng at 9:23 AM on March 14, 2006


I could have swore it was the sound of that high-powered intellect of yours revving up like a diesel engine.

What's the deal jon, after a life of shit jobs and drinking, is drive-by cocking on the internets how you imitate self-esteem?
posted by dgaicun at 11:36 AM on March 14, 2006


Hey! You said you were leaving the thread!
posted by ralphyk at 12:08 PM on March 14, 2006


ze guns, zey must be stuck to!
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:09 PM on March 14, 2006


.
posted by crunchland at 12:34 PM on March 14, 2006


Carrey and Raymond I can do without, but Lewis and Lucille Ball were comic geniuses. - jonmc

I'll grant you that, with the following exceptions: Anything after color film became common, and that abortion of a movie where Lucille butchered the Mame story.
posted by dejah420 at 2:22 PM on March 14, 2006


Jerry Lewis in top French honour

US comedian Jerry Lewis has celebrated his 80th birthday in Paris receiving France's highest civilian honour in a raucous ceremony.

Mr Lewis winked, stuck out his tongue and made faces during the event to award him the Legion of Honour.
The actor turned up for the usually sober event, in a gilded hall of the Ministry of Culture, wearing slippers.
He then yawned, checked his watch and pretended to fall asleep as the culture minister made a 20-minute speech.
The crowd roared at Lewis' antics, often drowning out minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres' speech in which he called the actor the "French people's favourite clown".
Ministry officials then presented the star of 1963 film The Nutty Professor with a massive cake and sang Happy Birthday.

posted by matteo at 9:39 AM on March 16, 2006


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