The Jerriad: A Clown Painting (Part One: Nutty Around the Edges

At the midpoint of Jerry Lewis’ 1961 movie The Errand Boy (directed by Jerry Lewis), an odd occurrence takes place. Morty S. Tashman (played by Jerry) is walking down the aisles of a Hollywood prop room and hears a “psst” coming from an upper shelf.

Upon further investigation, he finds a Little Clown puppet that resembles a stuffed sock. A cut to the other side of the shelf reveals that the hand puppet has an arm inside it.

Jerry reaches out to grab it, but the Little Clown pulls away and hides below. After a brief moment, the puppet pokes its head with its bright eyes, monkey grin, and pointy hat over the edge of the shelf and waves at Jerry.

Jerry responds in kind, with a slight movement of his fingers.

The Little Clown hoists himself up, resting his head on his arm, and then–aha!–comes up with an idea and dives back down.

When he returns, he has a lollipop, which he holds out to Jerry, placing it on the shelf and tentatively pushing it towards him.

Jerry takes the candy, tearing off the plastic wrap with his mouth (where is his other hand?) while the Little Clown jumps up and down with joy (he’s over the moon!).

Jerry continues to suck on the lollipop, his eyes crossed from its excellence, and the Little Clown waves again (he’s fond of waving).

However, all the excitement has caught up to the Little Clown, and he yawns and rubs his eyes. Jerry, feeling instantly sympathetic, starts to feel drowsy himself (what is the source of the Little Clown’s strange power over him?).

The small creature reappears with a bed and buries its face in its arms as if saying a prayer. The challenge begins.

The Little Clown, connected to someone’s arm, isn’t able to climb into bed. If we ever forget this, the film shows a shot from behind the Clown’s side of the shelf to reveal an arm.

The arm is positioned at a 90-degree angle to the bed, making it impossible for the Clown to stretch out without bringing an elbow into view. (This is when I start to get uncomfortable.)

The Little Clown’s frustration is prolonged when he pulls the little felt blanket from the bed, seemingly with no purpose.

He fails to cover himself and simply throws it onto the edge. The scene then shifts, showing him nearly pushing the bed over the edge towards the pit.

He manages to restore it to the shelf and starts to fidget with the blanket again, tucking it tightly at the foot of the bed before collapsing onto the disheveled pile.

He stands up once more, pushing the end of the blanket further in, attempting to make himself comfortable.

The Little Clown faces a never-ending, awful situation. He can’t escape the reality that he is tethered to an arm and his eyes are painted open.

Fortunately, the sequence ends shortly afterwards. He wraps the blanket around himself, veiling his body, and heaves a deep sigh.

When I was young, this scene disturbed me in ways that went beyond my typical fear of clowns.

It was unexpected and without closure (a later visit to the storage area showed a puppet of an ostrich with a southern accent–the puppet had nothing to say about the Little Clown and only praised Jerry for accepting it without question, for “believing”).

As a kid with a more concrete viewpoint, I assumed there had to be some kind of meaning to the sudden arm–maybe a female character who would become a romantic interest for Jerry.

But no, the Little Clown appeared from nowhere and then vanished, a potential symbol of creativity with an arm that stuck out.

In the films of Jerry Lewis, these particular moments stand out like a sore thumb.

Especially the movies which he directed himself – they contain scenes that are strange and uncomfortable, which appear to be heading towards comedy, sadness, or whimsy, but instead end up in a place that generates a complex reaction.

Not all his films are like this (in fact, he can demonstrate great control and precision in the conventional sense) and they aren’t necessarily bad either.

Instead, I find them quite intriguing and they provide a pathway into the puzzling mind of Jerry Lewis. I have chosen the Little Clown as my guide, and this is what I have learnt from him.


No matter how hard the Little Clown might try, it will never be able to detach itself from the arm.

“What do you consider to be an impressive body? ”

_– Dean Martin in an episode of _The Colgate Comedy Hour said to Jerry.

The magnificent jokers are metaphysicians.

By their connections to the environment and their engagement with the tangible universe, each of them reflects a manner of existence and alludes to a more profound (dis)arrangement.

Their doctrine is not explained through statements but with objects such as buckets, bottles, lamps, eggs, ladders, saws, fish, paint, planks, cigars, nails, rope, pastries, concrete, and camp beds, as well as their own physical forms.

The last remaining figure from a legendary era, Chaplin symbolizes a time when anything could be molded and manipulated with ease.

Despite the difficult circumstances the Tramp is facing in a world of rigid rules, there are still moments of grace when the divide disappears and things wake up from their stupor to become liquid once again.

During these times, the Tramp is able to demonstrate his remarkable skills and regain the title of the master of transfiguring everyday materials.

The movie The Gold Rush (1925) is known for two iconic scenes: a two-step with forks, bread rolls and flesh combined and the transformation of a boot into a savory dish.

Chaplin’s cinematic style can be likened to that of Ovid, where flux and ever-changing motion are the norm, and stagnation is the only enemy. In Modern Times (1936), the Tramp is shown in a Hell-like factory, where all movements are robotic and robotic and creativity is nonexistent.

Finally, when the Tramp’s endurance reaches its limit, he goes wild, restoring fluidity to the scene and using his wrenches to form donkey ears.

As he is dragged away, he still attempts to tighten the buttons on a woman’s dress.

Whereas Chaplin’s film depicted an infernal situation, it may have been a paradise for Buster Keaton.

The Tramp managed to insert himself between the cogs of an assembly line, something that Keaton could only fantasize about.

As the manual for the world-machine is either gone or never existed (Kafkaesque, indeed!), Keaton had to observe the machine’s movements to make sense of its function – which was often unpredictable and filled with unexpected changes.

When Buster comes into contact with objects, a transformation of sorts occurs which is more functional than magical.

In Keaton’s movies, there is often a point of transformation when existing concepts and attitudes are replaced by something new.

When Buster looks at objects in a conventional way, he often finds himself in trouble.

However, when he perceives them in terms of their physical properties, such as mass, length, balance, and flexibility, he gains a new power.

In College (1927), Luis Buñuel praised it as “beautiful as a bathroom”. Buster struggles in his pole-vaulting until his understanding of the world is re-established.

He quickly realizes that a piece of wood, employed as a support for a clothesline, can be used to reach an upper window. Similarly, in The General (1926), a beam across the tracks could derail Buster’s locomotive.

However, he quickly judges that by placing a beam precisely beside the obstacle’s tipping point, it can be flipped out of the way. He then performs a kind of physics-based haiku in motion.

Laurel and Hardy never seem to catch a break.

In contrast to Chaplin, who has the ability to shape the world to his desires, and Keaton, who finds success by utilizing the hardness of material, in L&H, things take on the solid, unyielding density of the artwork of Philip Guston.

A typical L&H scene is a close-up of a hardened tack on the floor — just waiting to be trodden on and, of course, it eventually is. Matter isn’t quite gone, but it has grown old and hostile.

Three shorts are devoted to a battle with the physical world: Be Big! (1930), in which Ollie tries to get in and out of a boot that is far too small for him; Berth Marks (1929), showing Stan and Ollie’s struggle for comfort in a railway berth; and The Music Box (1931), where a heavy player piano crate is lugged up a seemingly endless set of stairs.

After several unsuccessful attempts, the duo finally makes it to the top of the stairs only to be told that the back entrance could’ve been used to drive the package up instead.

With this knowledge, they then proceed to carry the crate down again.2

The cycle of films starring Stan and Ollie has revenge as a central theme, and in Big Business (1928), physical abuse is replaced with an attack on property.

During the movie, Stan and Ollie play baseball, with Ollie using a shovel as a bat and Stan pitching with Finlayson’s pitchers.

This transformation is only a lead-up to more creative destruction. Near the end of the short, a scene featuring Finlayson wrestling with a Christmas tree serves as a reminder of the true adversary.

The body is integral to the slapstick metaphysic, with Chaplin’s ever-changing and Keaton’s lever as examples.

This is what sets Jerry apart from his predecessors, as he “thinks with his body” according to critic Raymond Durgnat. Jerry’s shifting flux of identities embodied in movement present a psychological slapstick of him seeking a center.

To understand his career, it is necessary to try to map out his psyche in action.

Before Jerry became a solo act, searching for a sense of “belonging” and a place to explain himself, he and Dean were known as “the handsome man and the monkey” in Jerry’s words.

To get a sense of their dynamic, which propelled them from nightclubs to movies and TV within two years, one can watch their Colgate Comedy Hour programs from the early fifties.

The two pushed the boundaries of the scripts they had been given, confronting other actors with the declaration “You’re overacting”, teasing technicians and musicians, and even Jerry pressing his face up against the camera lens.

This level of intimacy and comfort with each other’s bodies on TV was unprecedented, and Jerry referred to the partnership as a “beautiful love affair between two men”.

Jerry was often the initiator of physical contact, such as kissing Dean on the lips or jumping into his arms.

These displays of affection and aggression would often be centered around the mouth, with Jerry stretching Dean’s as he sang, and Dean using Jerry’s as an ashtray when he adopted his slouchy, simian stance.

Dean had to act quickly, since Jerry’s poses and voices could change in a flash.

His voice often had a wheedling drone, rising to a shrill when he sang and sliding to a low, hollowed sound when “breaking character.” Jerry’s speech was often another form of aggression, and it would match his chaotic movements.

Jerry Lewis’ movies may have toned down his team’s act or, to use another phrase, sublimated its energies. He appeared to be the embodiment of all the 1950s’ worries, trends and unidentified anxieties.

Did comic books really corrupt the young people? In Artists and Models (Tashlin, 1955) Jerry admits they have made him “a little slow”. In Hollywood or Bust (Tashlin, 1956) it is the movies that are at fault.

In Living It Up (Norman Taurog, 1954) it appears that his weird behavior is caused by radiation poisoning (but it turns out it isn’t).

Every film Jerry made was criticized by some viewers for supposedly showcasing “momism”, a term that is now largely forgotten but, for two-fisted psychologists at the time, was thought to be as dangerous to national morality as communism.

Kass, writing in Films in Review magazine in 1953, noted that Lewis exploited the Jewish lad who had not been taught to become independent.

This misfit had been coddled by a woman who, absent her influence, might have been able to mature. Lewis’s comedic portrayal of someone dominated by a feminist is an exaggeration of the effect this can have on a man.

Young people, particularly those who view their father as an obstacle to their mother’s wishes, appreciate the freedom Lewis takes away from his mother’s hold on him.

He is the voice of a generation of mama’s boys.6

Jerry’s “ethnicity” (Jewish) and his tendency to act “nantzy” (sissy) were often noted by his critics, even those who admired him.

He brought his tummler character from the Catskills to Middle America, with all its Yiddishisms intact. It was observed that the more masculine the environment, the more “nantzy” Jerry became.

This is evident in the 1952 movie Jumping Jacks, where Jerry is drafted into the armed forces by Dean.

On his first night in the barracks, he is instructed to undress and Jerry responds by covering himself up and doing a striptease for the astonished soldiers, finishing with a flirtatious eye-bat.

Dean enabled Jerry to break away from conventional male behavior and explore his wild side through their nightclub performances and television appearances.

However, for movies, Jerry’s behavior had to be explained. This created a character with a foot in both childhood and adulthood, acting out the “hyperactive kid” in a perpetual state of being between his physical age and the age that his actions implied.

This is why Jerry’s comedy often consists of feeling uncomfortable, a sentiment which some find hard to take. Dean, being nine years older, was usually depicted as Jerry’s elder brother or a figure of heterosexual romance.

He would usually refer to Jerry as “the boy” both on and off stage, which seemed to reassure the audience that Jerry’s behavior was acceptable.

It was a fragile balance, but seemed to be working for the public.

Jerry often proclaimed that the duo could have–and should have–carried on, even though he understood that portraying “the Kid” would have been a bit odd when they reached sixty-five.

It was Jerry who ultimately made the call to break up the team. Martin & Lewis divided in 1956, exactly ten years from their initial performance. And Jerry kept going with separate endeavors for years afterwards.


Fragmentation is the second lesson to be learned.

The Little Clown and the arm are two distinct entities; the one does not equate to the other.

“I represent duality.”

In 1993, Jerry Lewis declared in The New York Times that “the only way to be a successful comic is to find something funny in something that is not funny.”

In Jerry Lewis’ autobiography Jerry Lewis In Person (Atheneum, 1982), he expressed a sense of completeness when he was part of a duo.

It was a book that revolved around two traumatic events in his life: the breakdown of the partnership with Dean and his lack of parental attention due to his vaudevillian parents being more preoccupied with their work than parenting.

When I was around three to four years old, my daydreams shifted to being inspired by fairy tales. However, when I turned five, they became more unsettling and oppressive while I was awake.

It felt like I was being haunted by terrible monsters, leaving me with feelings of pain, isolation, and hopelessness. All of these feelings were stuck in my head and I had no way to get rid of them.

Jerry was a very needy boy and he craved the unconditional love his maternal grandmother gave him until her death in 1940.

This left him in a more vulnerable state than before.

However, he found solace in Dean, as he loved this person more than his parents, wife, and children, as stated by Shawn Levy in The King of Comedy (St. Martin’s Press, 1996). But why did Jerry end the relationship?

In his book, Jerry outlines the source of the frictions between himself and Dean as being due to outside forces in the latter’s camp.

This included agents of disruption, in addition to the common problem of a sidekick having to always be in the shadow of the lead. He went on to state:

The same life choices that granted Dean and I success eventually caused an immense rift between us, to the point that we were on opposing ends of the spectrum, each feeling betrayed and unable to heal from the hurt.

It can be attributed to an obstinate arrogance, coupled with a sense of insecurity, and further compounded with other pitfalls such as false shyness, a feigned unawareness, and an oblivious craving….

It’s a strange collection of items. Dean himself was known to complain about the roles he was given in their films, which ranged from unappealing to repulsive, as well as Jerry’s aim to have artistic influence over their production.

Dean was particularly frustrated by Jerry’s increased focus on emotion, which was part of his attempt to be the modern Chaplin.

(Dean commented in an interview in 1957 that “The two worst things that happened to Jerry were taking a good picture with a Brownie and reading a book about Chaplin.”)

But the final straw came in 1956 when Jerry endeavored to remind Dean of the origin of their partnership, in his opinion, which he believed was more than just contracts and money: love.

I was standing there gazing at Dean, wishing and praying. I said to him, “It’s a remarkable thing that all I can think about is that the work we do is not very significant.

Any two people could have done it, but not even the best of them could have had what made us as successful as we are.”

“What is it?” he asked.

“I believe it’s our continued love for each other,” I replied.

He slightly shut his eyes, and his head lowered. There was an extended stillness. Then he raised his head. “You can discuss love all you desire. To me, you’re nothing but a symbol of money.”

Jerry wished to hold on to a belief of their relationship, both before and after, yet it’s difficult to accept that these words weren’t true.

To soften the impact, he attempted to express his thoughts in his book (“He may have wanted to say more”).

Unfortunately, once love had been repudiated, there was no way to move forward.

In 1957, he created his first movie as a single actor, The Delicate Delinquent (Don McGuire).

The tonal variations were revolutionary: It has a realistic noir feel that was prevalent in Hollywood at the time (a back-lot area situated between On the Waterfront and the Bowery Boys) and it switches between a social drama and a burlesque.

The sudden changes between these two styles are the best part about it, especially an early tracking shot of a police lineup of gum-chewing, violent teens ending on Jerry in hysterics.

The lack of information on Dean, the crucial element, had Jerry thinking back to the story of Damon and Pythias in the 1950s.

He felt that the relationship between himself and Dean was similar, so he attempted to create a script based on them. Dean, however, was not enthused with the idea of being portrayed as a cop, thus this project was stopped for the foreseeable future.

Darren McGavin was unable to imitate James Dean’s finesse in maneuvering through the psychological drama of Lewis; in fact, the fervor he projects in the role paints Damon’s intentions in a disreputable light, especially when he attempts to begin his own kind of reform school by asking Jerry to his house for a meal and some television.12

The distinction between Jerry onscreen and offscreen is made less distinct with his performance of “By Myself,” a song popularized by Fred Astaire’s 1953 version in The Band Wagon.

It’s a clear expression expressing his process of reinvention: “I’ll encounter the unknown / And construct a world of my own / Nobody knows better than me / I’m by myself / By myself.”13

“Aloneness” is an integral concept in the Lewis oeuvre. It’s a frequent motif his characters are heard to express.

In the movies in which Dean stars, Jerry articulates his apprehensions about the state of their friendship (e.g. “Are we not friends anymore?”).

As a solo artist, the fear becomes more abstract and pervasive. To summarize it in a combination of lines from various films: the need to be accepted, to be of service, to possess a sense of self instead of feeling like nothing.

Since “loneliness” is a very bleak place for Jerry. Consider this hellish vision that ends the initial, four-page “Book” of his autobiography (there are nine books in total, most of which are much longer).

Jerry has just gone back to his dressing room suite at the Copacabana nightclub after their final performance as a duo:

I opened my eyes and felt myself drifting, spiraling through the air like a feather–down into a vast desert…. Not a single creature was visible.

Even the stars had disappeared. I pushed forward, surrounded by an expansive river of sand.

All of a sudden, the desert opened up. A road glistened in front of me. I was walking on it–to where? Then I noticed the movie marquee!–It spanned the highway; elaborate, gilded, the lights rotating in a circle.

I saw the greatest word I had ever encountered illuminating in a bright, shiny manner:


I staggered, then dropped to my knees. I shouted out at the peak of my lungs:


The location of Jerry’s version of hell appears to be in the outskirts of Las Vegas, which is a fitting place. It is a barren area where the symbols of fame just serve to emphasize the solitude that can never be breached.

This idea is depicted in Jerry’s fourth movie as a director, The Nutty Professor, in the painting that hangs in the Purple Pit, the scene of the awful Buddy Love.

A dejected pianist is seen leaning over the keys in a single-colored landscape that extends out forever.

A few broken Greek columns can be seen in the horizon, forming a straight line to the vanishing point, creating an atmosphere of scarcity and existentialism that resembles a blend of Keane and De Chirico, the musician in a void.

The Nutty Professor is a standout among Jerry’s motion pictures, one that even those who aren’t fond of him might enjoy.

Levy has stated that it is “much better than his other films, it’s almost unimaginable.”14 (291) One thing that sets it apart is that it has a plot.

In some of Jerry’s movies, the story progression is thin and is either quickly wrapped up soon after the beginning (like in The Ladies’ Man from 1961) or is presented and then largely forgotten until the conclusion is reached (like in The Errand Boy).

There are upsides to such free-form styles–they offer the opportunity for a relaxed, associated stream around the main concept or setting and can be a great source for Jerry’s oddness15–but it doesn’t tend to please literary-minded viewers or critics.

On the other hand, The Nutty Professor is distinct in its reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s work for 1960s America: transforming lanky, quacking Jekyll (Julius Kelp) into an indulgent lounge rat Hyde (Buddy Love).

Audiences today may be surprised by the extent to which The Nutty Professor anticipates objections to Jerry Lewis’ image in the popular consciousness.

The film preemptively critiques these attitudes, such as Buddy Love’s egotism, boorish behavior, and self-pity, even giving him a corny pickup line reminiscent of Jerry’s other films.

The movie is self-aware, not self-conscious, which makes it all the more confounding how Lewis could take on so many of Love’s attributes in the public eye.16

Since its debut, reviewers have theorized that Buddy was an offensive remark to Dean.

But, it is not: Dean’s style as a performer (and in person, according to his ex-wife) involved utilizing the least possible energy for any task, from singing to acting or even walking.

Buddy, on the other hand, is full of vitality and rage barely hidden. His distinct interpretation of “That Old Black Magic,” with words fiercely uttered from his oddly bending jaw, is drastically different from Dean’s calm, long lines and phrasing.

Buddy’s essence may be Rat Pack, but Jerry would’ve done a better job playing Dean if that was his aim.

However, if Buddy is not Dean, he is also, in a way – if not Dean himself, then Jerry’s inner Dean, an exaggerated masculine representation of himself manufactured with a careful watch on the psychological trends of the time.

During the penetration of psychoanalysis into popular culture, a peculiar form of narrative emerged – the Freud Story. It was a reinterpretation of the classic detective story on the level of personal psychology.

The resulting stories could be overly simplified. In such stories, the detective psychoanalyst would soon piece together the key event in the criminal’s life, and then they would be on their way to becoming a contributing member of society.

An example of this is seen in The Nutty Professor, where Jerry is portrayed as a baby Kelp, with a domineering mother and a feeble father.

It is not the kind of mother that fosters “momism”, and Kelp does not act like “the Kid” either, instead he tends to withdraw and ponder carefully before making a move.

The flashback to his childhood does not solve Kelp’s issues, but it is meant to provide insight into them–a mother with unusual “masculine” traits has brought up a son who is very “feminine”.

This appears to be straightforward, yet when Kelp’s “inner man” is released he is quite strange. He is wearing more makeup than Stella Stevens, the female lead in the movie. Buddy is a painted man.

His fighting style is unique as well–he closes his fists but leaves the palms open and defeats his opponent with a few quick wrist flaps.

Furthermore, his name “Buddy Love” seems to be taken from a gay porn magazine.

The name of the character “Buddy” intrigues many Jerryphiles. It evokes the absent half of Jerry’s yearning for connection and love, as he has discussed in his autobiography.

This is why Jerry gave this character his two favorite concepts of love and friendship despite being a narcissistic character.

Jerry’s complexities make it difficult to understand him and every time someone thinks they have a handle on him, something else comes up.

Scott Bukatman, a critic, coined the phrase “Wellesian hall of mirrors” in his essay on Jerry in Andrew Horton’s book Comedy/Cinema/Theory (University of California Press, 1991).

It wasn’t until I had finished writing the first draft of my piece that I read more into Jerry theory and realized I had unknowingly paraphrased Bukatman in two places.

I was delighted by the parallels, as his essay is the best article I have ever read on this difficult topic.

Furthermore, Murray Pomerance’s Enfant Terrible! Jerry Lewis in American Film (New York University Press, 2002) is also a great read, as it is a collection of pieces devoted solely to Jerry.

It is interesting that, among fans of Laurel and Hardy, The Music Box is usually considered a classic while the other films from the duo are often considered to be of a lower quality; possibly because they are too painful to watch.

The fierce squint of Finlayson, a knobby Scot, has always reminded me of another Celtic hero–the renowned Cu Chulaind.

According to the legends, during battle, he would keep one eye so small it was “no wider than the eye of a needle” and open the other as large as a “wooden bowl”.

As much as I’d like to honor Finlayson’s great might in song, I must refrain as it is off-topic.

Jerry is often seen in scenes where he finds himself in tangled situations, and this is often due to his overly exaggerated behavior – the Jerry Clench.

For example, in The Geisha Boy, Jerry panics and grabs ahold of lettuce. His body movements are more prominent than any qualities he finds in the objects.

Furthermore, his interactions with things seem to be an effort on his part – it’s almost as if he is intentionally making things difficult.

In The Ladies Man, when he is told to dust glass figurines, he hardly simulates clumsiness – he actually throws himself at them, resulting in breakage.

This type of behavior is reminiscent of Tourette’s Syndrome, in which the person identifies the wrong thing to do and then does it instantly. While it is entertaining to view, it is also somewhat awkward.

Despite all of this, Jerry remains rooted in his body; his attempts to go beyond himself always come back to him.

  1. Frank Tashlin (1913-72) was a former animator for Warner Bros. and Disney who brought cartoon anarchy (including bizarre physical laws) to live-action films, beginning with The First Time in 1952.

He was known for his humorous and satirical approach to American pop culture, complemented by bright colors and sexual themes.

When asked about his biggest influence as a director, Jerry Lewis replied, “Mr. Tishman, spelled T-A-S-H-L-I-N. He’s my teacher.” He is the only other strong director of Jerry’s comedies besides Jerry himself, and his influence is evident in all of Jerry’s films.

However, Jerry usually lacked the satirical leanings that Tashlin had, making none of his films as stringent or coherent as The Nutty Professor (Lewis, 1963).

David Ehrenstein noted that Tashlin’s gags had more precise lines and objectives, while Jerry’s often “took off into [a] childlike Cloud cuckoo-land.”

Jerry’s color schemes tended to be more daring and his plots lacked the connections that Tashlin’s had.

  1. I become resolute in silence when I come across such vigorous writing. Yes, the underlying idea of “command in the world of men” excites me even though I don’t show it. But I must be honest and admit that I think Mom gets a bad rap in this instance.

What offense did she commit? She chose to nurture a misfit rather than leaving it to fend for itself against wild bears, I suppose. In the end, I can’t help but admire Jerry for irritating guys like this.

  1. Jerry had a few catch-phrases that he used during the Comedy Hour whenever asked to take off his jacket or disrobe. These included “Don’t lick it!,” “I like it! I like it!,” and “Melvin?”.

In regards to the origin of the famous “Laaaadyyyyy!” and its variant “La-la-la, nice lady!”, which Jerry is now known for, has been unable to be determined.

There is a scene in The Stooge (Taurog, 1953) in which Jerry does shout “Lady!” a few times, but it appears to be a result of the situation he was in at the time.

If anyone has any information about these phrases, they are encouraged to get in contact with the publisher.

Jerry’s understanding of age relative to himself has been quite flexible. Born in 1926, he was featured in five films as a “boy”, ranging from That’s My Boy (Hal Walker, 1951) to The Errand Boy (1961).

In the films, he was referred to as a boy up until The Big Mouth (Lewis, 1967). His efforts to gain the rights for his ideal project, an adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye starring himself, were ongoing for decades.

Even in 1962 he was still talking to Bogdanovich about the possibility of it happening. I believe this casting choice is creative and I still hope it comes to fruition.

During the 70s he was still attempting to get permission from J.D. Salinger. Lewis commented that Salinger was “nuts” and that was likely why he was open to speaking with him.

Frank Krutnik, in his groundbreaking work entitled Inventing Jerry Lewis (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000), noted the presence of “queer” elements in the act of Jerry Lewis and his partner Dean Martin.

Jerry was often depicted as Dean’s domestic partner, helping around the house, cooking, and even sleeping in the same bed with him.

further mentions the scene in The Stooge, where Jerry requests Dean to sing him to sleep with the song “With My Eyes Wide Open I’m Dreaming”.

To avoid any confusion and tension, Dean pulls out a photo of his girlfriend to break the moment.

As a five-year-old, Jerry remembers that his anger got the better of him, leading to an incident with his pet cat.

He states: “I was so upset about my parents’ leaving that I threw my cat down the stairs and it died. It’s something that can haunt you in your dreams.”

  1. The comparison is fairly obvious, but it does make for an amusing name for a Jerry character. Other appropriate titles include Myron Mertz, Virgil Yokum, Wilbur Hoolick, Eugene Fullstack, Herbert’s full name (H. stands for Herbert), Kreton, and Helmut Doork.
  1. Martha Hyer is not fortunate; she is the actress who portrays the figure in The Stooge.

McGavin vociferously abuses her and then inexplicably becomes enamored with her for a small amount of time before unceremoniously discarding her.

Before she exits, she utters the memorable saying “You must agree that a woman can become exhausted from having her nights ruined by the spirit of Sidney Pythias. I just wish I had more of an importance to you.”

  1. The way Jerry performs the second and third lines of the lyrics emphasizes a hint of arrogance that was unanticipated in Astaire’s version.
  1. Levy’s biography of Jerry is an impressive work, being both well-written and well-researched.

The one issue with it is that there is not a deep appreciation for Jerry’s unique style.

At times, Levy makes an effort to understand, but in an essay written for Enfant Terrible!, he states that he chose Jerry as a subject to view the 20th-century culture from multiple perspectives, not necessarily because of his admiration. Due to this, I believe Levy is too harsh when assessing many of Jerry’s films.

A new linguistic framework is needed in order to properly discuss such structures, as describing them by what they are not does not provide us with a lot of information. Bukatman proposes that an architectural model may be a better option.

He mentions The Ladies’ Man set, which contained sixty rooms and was located on two sound stages, and remarks that it “operates as the merest gesture of containment towards the multitude of frenetic actions taking place within.”

I believe this idea can be developed further following Levy’s suggestion that The Geisha Boy (Tashlin, 1958) was constructed in a “block-by-block fashion.”

The gag blocks are connected either through contiguous position, color schemes, or symmetrical placement, while others may lead to places not seen before or related to the others.

Realistically, this set is illogical, but on its own terms it is a very creative environment.

In the 80s, during the small hours of the morning, one could turn on the telethon and witness Buddy without any clothing on hosting.

At around 3 AM, Jerry was known to become quite irritable. Interestingly, the telethon was known as ‘The Love Network.’

  1. Freud should be given credit for his storytelling abilities, yet his conclusions are all too often quite similar.
  1. I’ve provided some suggestions that I don’t trust these analytic models, however I can’t find a way to bypass them since certain scenarios, such as this one, seem to demonstrate that they played a role in Jerry’s life.

Furthermore, I guess one could say the Freudian mythology is somewhat accurate “if one chooses to accept it,” as the Ostritch commented to the Little Clown.

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