Jerry Lewis – The Consumate Clown – Happy Birthday!

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Apologies to those of you who never heard of him, but I must pay tribute to a guy who made my childhood a bit more tolerable.

Jerry Lewis

When we were kids one of our rare treats was to go to the drive-in theater. Way back then (hundreds of years ago), Dean Martin, straight-man and crooner, and Jerry Lewis, funny guy, were teamed up and were making a tonne of money shooting silly/romantic movies. I wasn’t much interested in the ‘mushy’ stuff’, but there’s nothing that can make a kid howl with laughter quicker than an adult acting like a fool (try it sometime and see). My wife to this day swears that she secretly wished that Jerry Lewis was her father.

Jerry Lewis was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Jewish parents Rachel “Rae”, who played the piano for the radio station WOR and performed musical arrangements, and Danny Levitch, a master of ceremonies and vaudeville performer. His birth name is usually reported as Joseph Levitch, though Shawn Levy’s biography, “King of Comedy”, claims this is untrue and that Lewis’ name at birth was Jerome Levitch. Lewis started performing at the age of five and by the age of fifteen developed his Record Act, in which he mimed lyrics of operatic and popular songs to a phonograph. (okay, so I ripped this paragraph from Wikipedia – sue me)

Though most would consider his humor over-the-top today, he was one of the great comedy-masters of the early cold war era. Though we were scared out of our wits by the bomb, he gave us respite in humor.  The only site I could find that looked ‘official’ was this one: (yes, I ripped the logo, but it’s my homage to the man to display it here) 

Jerry Lewis - Logo of “The Official Jerry Lewis Comedy Museum and Store”

Happy birthday, Mr. Lewis. And many happy returns.

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3 Responses to “Jerry Lewis – The Consumate Clown – Happy Birthday!”

  1. Meakid Says:

    well every time I meet people here, I’m sure they are very young and don’t know what to say, that’s why they write weird stuff

  2. ROBERTA MARTINS ( BRASIL ) Says:

    DEIXO REGISTRADO AQUI, O MEU DEPOIMENTO:

    JERRY LEWIS É EXTREMAMENTE AMADO E QUERIDO POR TODO O MUNDO.

    JERRY LEWIS ESTÁ PRESENTE EM NOSSAS VIDAS TODOS OS DIAS.

    JERRY LEWIS E UNICO E INSUBSTITUIVEL.

    JERRY LEWIS E UM HOMEM DE EXCELENTE CARACTER E CORAÇÃO PROFUNDO.

    JERRY LEWIS SIGNIFICA TUDO EM MINHA VIDA …

    EU SOU A MAIOR FÃ DE TODO O UNIVERSO DO ASTRO REI (JERRY LEWIS).

    ROBERTA MARTINS.

    FORTALEZA-CEARA
    B R A S I L

  3. MadDog Says:

    Okay, Robert or Roberta. Whatever . . .

    For the Portuguese illiterate (me included) here’s a literal translation:

    LEAVE RECORDED HERE, MY STATEMENT:
    JERRY LEWIS IS EXTREMELY LOVING AND WANTED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
    JERRY LEWIS IS PRESENT IN OUR LIVES EVERY DAY.
    JERRY LEWIS AND unique and irreplaceable.
    JERRY LEWIS AND A MAN OF GREAT CHARACTER AND HEART DEEP.
    JERRY LEWIS MEANS EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE …
    I AM THE BIGGEST FAN OF ALL THE UNIVERSE OF ASTRO KING (JERRY LEWIS).

    ROBERT MARTINS.

    FORTRESS-CEARA
    B R I A L S