"HEY, LAAAADY!"Jerry Lewis (born Joseph Levitch; 1926–2017) was an American comedian, actor, and filmmaker, noted for the wacky style of his comedy and, later on, for his long-running annual Labor Day telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.Lewis is generally considered to have been at his peak in The '50s (when he worked with Dean Martin) and The '60s. He's also the Trope Maker for a lot of things.Not to be mistaken for Jerry Lee Lewis, though his son Gary enjoyed success in the music world as frontman for the '60s pop/rock group Gary Lewis & the Playboys.He passed away at age 91 on August 20, 2017, the same day as fellow comedy legend Dick Gregory.
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 Saturday Morning 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.
- Borscht Belt: Performed there in his childhood alongside his parents, and the style influenced his comedy.
- The Cameo: Makes brief but memorable ones in both It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Li'l Abner.
- Double Vision: Was well known for his tour-de-force performance in The Family Jewels, in which he played seven different characters.
- The Klutz: A big part of his usual screen persona.
- Large Ham
- Lethally Stupid: Almost all the characters he portrayed, though he managed to make them likable.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: He hated 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 mentioned it in his presence could expect to be met with anger or despondency, as he would remind them of his decision and quickly change the subject.
- Man Child: Not quite the Trope Codifier, but damn close.
- Oh God, with the Verbing!: The Trope Maker.
- 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.