Jerry Lewis (born Joseph Levitch in 1926) is an American comedian, noted for the wacky style of his comedy and, more recently for his long-running annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis is generally considered to have been at his peak in The Fifties (when he worked with Dean Martin) and The '60s. Trope Maker for a lot of things.Not to be mistaken for Jerry Lee Lewis.
Tropes associated with Jerry Lewis:
- Adam Westing: He is one of the few who used this trope for drama.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Almost every Lewis character, or even any knockoff character based on one of Lewis's characters, will come off as this.
- Animated Adaptation/Ink-Suit Actor: A number of Lewis-based characters (including one called Jerry Lewis and some from The Family Jewels (See Double Vision, below) formed the cast of a 1970 Filmation cartoon series, Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down?. (Lewis did not voice the part (Squiggy did), though Lewis did contribute to some of the scripts.)
- Berserk Button: The Day the Clown Cried, when asking him about it.
- Billing Displacement: Martin and Lewis got their big screen big break in My Friend Irma (1949) and its sequel My Friend Irma Goes West. The actual star was Marie Wilson but these the films are very much remembered for Martin and Lewis.
- Borscht Belt: Performed there in his childhood alongside his parents, and the style influenced his comedy.
- Butt Monkey
- The Cameo: Makes brief but memorable ones in both It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Li'l Abner.
- Copiously Credited Creator: Produced, directed, wrote, and starred in many of his films starting with The Bellboy as well as playing multiple roles in The Nutty Professor and The Family Jewels.
- Double Vision: Was well known for his tour-de-force performance in The Family Jewels, in which he played seven different characters.
- Large Ham
- Lethally Stupid: Almost all the characters he portrayed, though he manages to make them likable.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: He hates talking about The Day the Clown Cried, a film he directed and starred in as a means of establishing himself as a dramatic actor and director. The movie was plagued with production issues and an extremely dark plot, and Lewis resolved never to release it, claiming it was an "artistic failure". Anyone who mentions it can expect to be met with anger and/or despondency, as he will reiterate his decision and quickly change the subject.
- Man Child: Not quite the Trope Codifier, but damn close.
- Missing Episode: The Day the Clown Cried is a famous example. It exists but is locked up due to legal issues.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!: Trope Maker
- Old Shame: The Day the Clown Cried, big-time. He also wasn't especially pleased with how Hardly Working turned out.
- Spiritual Successors: Pee-wee Herman, Adam Sandler, Gilbert Gottfried, Jim Carrey, Steve Carell...
- Telethon: Trope
makercodifier. The first telethon, broadcast by NBC in April 1949, was a fundraiser for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.
- Variety Show: Back when he was with Dean Martin, the duo was one of the rotating hosts of the Colgate Comedy Hour.
- Yiddish as a Second Language
And no, he was never Vice-President of the United States.