YMMV / The Day the Clown Cried

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Big time.
  • Mis-blamed: Many people believe this was Jerry Lewis' project alone. While he did write the final treatment and direct it, the original script was around for a decade before he was involved and, as mentioned in the synopsis, there were many problems with the production that Lewis had nothing to do with.
  • Narm Charm: Some comedians who have read the script have noted that the movie falls in this trope. In fact, Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller once tried to have a public reading but they were quickly shut down by an Army of Lawyers.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: A twofer, as it's a movie with a controversial plot that Jerry Lewis preferred to never release.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The rough cut of the movie has been screened privately for select Hollywood insiders and this is often the reaction. Fellow comedian Harry Shearer once saw the film and in a subsequent interview with Spy magazine compared the viewing experience to suddenly encountering "a black velvet painting of Auschwitz":
    "With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. 'Oh My God!'—that's all you can say."
  • Tear Jerker: It was meant to be one at least.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Lewis was convinced that he had a really good, important movie on his hands until he actually saw it.