I have two male influences in my life, not including my Dad. Because that goes without saying.
Jerry Lewis got my attention from a very early age. Somewhere in the single digits. His facial expressions, the voice, the innocense, niativity and sillyness. “Who is this guy?” I love him. And his friend had a singing voice as smooth as forty year barrelled whiskey. Of course I had no such knowledge, it was the only thing I know that’s Dean Martin smooth.
I learned, if he could make me laugh out loud then that’s how to act. People will like you. Of course not act like that at school or in public, just for the family.
I would do the obligatory faces and stupid mocking voices. Christ, I would’ve kicked my own ass!
I don’t remember when it became frustrating for my parents, but it did. Probably quite quick.
This is NO comparison in anyway but could you imagine living in the same house with Jim Carrey as a pre-teen annoyance? I’m not talking Ace Ventura or Cable Guy Jim. Just young Jim acting out or up or whatever it was. Hadn’t honed his skills yet just hormonal male pre-teen shit.
Wanna bi*ch slap him?
It was my problem, obviously I haven’t acted this way in months. 🤔
So Jerry Lewis was and still is an influential part of my life.
This was a man that has done so much and shared himself with everyone. For years helping MDS. So many kids and parents had better lives because of Jerry.
As far as Hollywood went…
It was Jerry that broke up Martin & Lewis, his words. Dean was always on the prowl and Jerry was learning the Biz. How to Produce, Direct, Write, while Dean was golfing or getting some strange.
They both still had really good careers as individuals.
It was in the 90’s when I’d heard very randomly on the radio that Damn Yankee’s (play) was coming to Toronto starring Jerry Lewis! I got tickets as soon as they went on sale. Hummingbird Theatre or was it The O’Keefe Centre back then? Anyway, front row center and on what would be Jerry’s birthday too! There was going to be my seat, the Orchestra pit, then Jerry!
The lights dimmed, music rose and the play began. Jerry entered stage left to a thunderous applause. The baseball plotted tale was going great, until half way through, Jerry stopped the play for about half an hour and did stand-up.
The evening became so much better when Jerry Lewis, my Idle, looked me straight in the eyes and told a joke. To me, not for the crowd, sure they could hear it but he told it to me!
The play commenced, ended, and next I found myself, like a groupie, waiting by his exit limo to get a glimse. He finally came out to where people were yelling Birthday wishes at him. He looked up, raised a hand, said “Thank you” entered the limo and was gone.
That was some 20 years ago, and the only thing forgotten about that night was the joke he’d told me. I just remember looking him in the eyes and thinking, ” Jerry Lewis is telling me a joke!”
Many people will never meet their childhood Idol but I saw mine close up and personal.
Now Jerry is gone that leaves Dad and Kurt Russell.
I will commemorate Jerry one day via a tattoo. I’ve had an image for years. I knew this day was coming.
Take it easy, s