Ep 11 THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED with Jeff Abraham and Burt Kearns
Off Hello this is Sasha Stephen and this is shut up. I love it podcast where we talk about those aspects of pop culture that are underrated were under seen under her earned represented underappreciated joining us today. We have two guests. Jeff Abraham and berthe currents authors of this show won't go on the most shocking bizarre and historic deaths performance onstage who is Jeff Abraham Stephen F. is a comedy historian and he is the go-to pop culture expert for television producers documentary directors and authors. He's represented comedy giants chance including Andrew Dice Clay Steve Harvey George Lopez Bill Maher and for the last eleven years of his life George Carlin also the owner and curator of the world's largest comedy album archives and he's on the Board of the National Comedy Center Sasha. Can you tell us a little bit about birth. He's a television and motion picture producer producer director writer journalist and author of the controversial Tabloid Television Memoir tabloid baby his credits include conspiracy theory eerie with Jesse Ventura Kardashian the man who saved own J. Simpson spoiler alert and the seven python on and was two Time Academy Award winner Albert s ruddy he wrote and produced a Burt Reynolds movie The Twentieth Century Fox Feature Film. Tom Cloud not only have they written this great new book. The show won't go on the most shocking bizarre and historic debts performers onstage they he also contributed outtakes and related stories like the murder of Alfalfa site. Please kill me dot com. Oh and we also drove to Las Vegas together last summer to attend the Jerry Lewis Action. What was that like. What did you buy. We showed up at planet Hollywood to the Jerry. Jerry Lewis Auction. We had to sit through seventy six guns being sold before it got any of the stuff that we were interested in seventy six guns seventy six lots of of weapons with their machine guns. Oh Yeah because Vegas right you can do whatever the Colt forty five. Beretta's snub forty fives you name aim. It was like lot thirty two colt forty five. You know who's crazy. Were you tempted to bid on any of those guns. Now we went and there was some great movie memorabilia and you know and a lot of watches he had about about one hundred different watches and some great luggage pitch from a lot of luggage from what we've Itam Louis Louis Vuitton luggage. I bought a jerry piece of Jerry Lewis Artwork. It was done on a large handkerchief that was monogrammed with his name on it and I now own Jerry's trademark glasses has seen in the king of comedy in the Abraham Comedy Archives now. Wow Wow wow cool very cool. I don't know if it's going to be surprised her audience when we learn what is the subject of our discussion today hey guys. What are we talking about today? Lady Lady Man the Meth the legend Jerry Lewis and specifically will Jerry Lewis and his very legendary unseen film the day the clown cried and we're going to dig in on that a little bit. It's going to be very interesting interesting conversation about this movie that almost no one has seen we've seen parts of it. Stephen Right yeah for this podcast because it's a little bit out there there is there's a little bit out there for the Nancy drew's among you who want to go snooping around looking for clips. There's definitely enough to nullify a lot of what has been said over the past forty years about the film because until until now now it seems that only one person has admitted to seeing the film and gave his critique of it which we can get into. Let's get into that but first. Let's talk a little bit about Jerry now. I talked about already kind of seems like you guys are fans fanatics first of all. How long have you known each other like in did did Jerry Lewis. Bring you together. I would say we've known each other probably for twenty plus years we worked. I promoted Book Birds Book tabloid Blade Baby the Seventh Python documentary. He did about basketball so we've known each other for twenty plus years but it was probably in the last five or six years. We really became closer over our session of Jerry Lewis emailing each other. Hey did you see this going up on Ebay. You should I buy Bert. You may want this. Hey here's a rare Jerry Lewis lighter. I think this is perfect. I have a lot of Jerry Lewis lighters he would give them away whenever he made a film whenever whenever he did a TV series he would have hundreds of lighters made up with his with his caricature on it and usually the words Jerry Lewis and thank you and who would give them the way the people who worked on the set people who visited the set and now they're all over Ebay who drew that caricature juvenile who is the author of it sort of the famous caricatured that one of you may or may may not have as a tattoo that would be I know the Tattoo was drawn by Mr Cranky of Los Angeles the Tattoo Artists. Who did the original original. Who did the original character. I don't remember the name but it was done in the mid fifties when Jerry was with his partner Dean Martin Martin Lewis and it was part of their famous this character chores and I think they paid like the Guy Fifty Bucks in Jerry his gotten really good use of it for the next fifty plus years. I do have an Al Hirschfeld. Jerry Lewis Tattoo as well that caricatures Hirschfeld that you used to write for us to do art for The New York Times so not do you only have one tattoo. You have to tattoos of Jerry Lewis Chris. Oh we're dealing real fans here real fans that's right. These aren't fake. Jerry Lewis fans just trying to hop on board the hype train absolutely uh-huh sit here wearing my Jerry Lewis Watch and shirt so who is the man that we call Jerry Lewis born a a march sixteenth nineteen twenty six with the name Joseph Levick. Tell us a little bit about Jerry. He simply a famous Jewish movie star sure is you know when you think performance who had a long running career it's Sinatra Bob hope and Jerry Lewis would be up there from from nineteen twenty six. You know up until he died. You know it's you know almost a decade career. He did every facet of show business this and did it. Successfully live performance movies television recording directing producing acting conducting did orchestra conducting dancing singing humanitarian. I mean the man has raised two billion and that's with a B billion dollars. L. Is for charity. Inventing video says that he was very proud of which which is absolutely right on the money something we still see being we use today in every movie so why is Jerry Lewis why is he is a good subject for our podcast. Because you guys love him he was super famous he was super famous for years and years and decades in Hollywood Hollywood so why is asking us to shut up and love him or his also a very very divisive figure and entertainment. Some people love Jerry Lewis. Some people people hate Jerry Lewis. Jerry Seinfeld once said that anybody who doesn't get Jerry Lewis doesn't get comedy. Jerry Lewis started out when he was still a teenager right. It was one thousand nine hundred forty six when he teamed up with Dean Martin and for ten years. They were the biggest act in show business. They were like the Beatles they they were. They were anarchic. They were they were wild comedy team and then that was transferred to film and they did films together up until Nineteen fifty-six Jerry Lewis always played the breaking crazed screaming shrink and monkey he called himself the monkey and so some people always saw Jerry Lewis. The monkey and some people say he's really annoying join. I think he probably were the monkey name right because he likes to call Dean Martin and the spine the straight man the spine and he's himself is the monkey attached to the spine and I actually watched nineteen fifty excerpt on Youtube from their performance and it was pretty crazy like how you could really sense energy that they had on stage and it was just overwhelming to the audience I think because there was so much freedom and humor and like comedy technique onstage each going on that I think people just hadn't seen at that point anything like it was a tremendous response. You mentioned energy. You have to remember it in one thousand nine hundred fifty. Jerry Lewis was twenty four years old. We had not seen a comedian that young before and really not since Eddie Murphy. Have we seen a young comedian when you think about chaplain the Marx brothers. WC views this gentleman will already in their forties when Milton Berle who was TV in one thousand nine hundred forty eight. He was forty audie. Jerry Lewis was twenty four and that energy was so evident especially when you watch those colgate comedy hours more which really captures where's the closest to what the Martin Lewis Energy was like onstage that do it during the survive for too long to go on you know history of Jerry Lewis because most mostly Jerry Lewis decided that he can make a name for himself right because he was getting more critical response and audience response from films that they were making together and so he decided united to go on his own is that do I get the story right well sort of they also begin to hate each other's guts after working together in close quarters for ten years when they made a movie Dean Martin certainly be very happy to go golfing day. Come in Rita's lines and leave Jerry Lewis would be all over every person on the set to find out what that job was and how to how was it done. How do we liked light to see. How do you use the camera? Jerry Lewis had his hands and everything and he began to really take over the production of the act indeed. Martin resented it Dean Martin and just he was the ultimate cool guy if he was the one person in the world who Frank Sinatra wishes he was everybody else wish they were frank. Frank wished he could be dean and the other thing. Is You have to remember when they would review a Martin Lewis movie that would say and Dean Martin single couple of songs. You know you know I I don't care what kind of UH EGO or performer has. That's not going to sit on you year and year out and it did. I think he just got to Dean and I think Jerry always said that. The wives and and other people were saying you know what you could go out on your own and do just as well if not better. I think that was the forces very you know. If you look at the bills the same way I think their wives were pushing them to go in the direction. Women tend to always right there direct men in the wrong direction away their passion. Tell me but I but but I think the Showbiz benefited from that split Jerry Lewis who had the bug to filmmaker you know very soon acting in writing and directing and producing his own movies and Dean Martin had a recording career second-to-none became a a great dramatic actress and wonderful Westerns John Wayne and and Cliff Montgomery and Frank Sinatra some come running and then he had you know the variety show show business actually benefited from this split which which is very interesting. Usually splits tend to be like bad move right. Yeah you know I I don't I think most people would argue that the Beatles is a better better bandwidth so then Jerry Lewis he makes a few movies that people go Gaga over like the nutty professor in nineteen sixty three that had a huge cult following many countries not just the United States right like people in Sweden yeah. I guess they played every week on television but yes so it's a big cult movie that Eddie Murphy then was in the remake off. Dan Jerry also made bellboy boy. When Jerry Lewis made the bellboy he had made a movie called Cinder Fella and Cinder Fella was a film that was based on Cinderella. Jerry Lewis played this the cinder her fellow character and that was a movie that that the studio paramount wanted to have come out for the summer because Jerry Lewis Summer flick he do a a Christmas flick they wanted out for the summer and it was it was around January at the time and Jerry Lewis said no no this is a Christmas movie man and they said No. You've got to have a movie coming out this summer summer so he said look. I'll give you a movie I'll give you. I'll give you a movie. They'll come out in the summer and he went he went down to Miami beach where he had an engagement at the Fontham blue the hotel and he he wrote a script in two weeks and then found other celebrities who happen to be a performing in the area let them come in and and he shot the movie and I think twenty days and put out a movie in which his character was basically a pantomime character with the whole thing and it became legendary a Utah the Ba- the Bellboy Yeah I saw that movie is as well as the nutty professor and I'd say the Bellboy is pretty close to Buster Keaton or maybe Charlie Chaplin Chaplin. You know there's definitely a lot of physical comedy and technique that echoes those giants of comedy so by the time we get to nineteen seventy-two a two. That's when production starts on the day the clown cried what is Jerry's career like at this point by nineteen seventy-two you know in the late sixties he you know his his contract with paramount hint had ended he had made some movies at Columbia three on a couch hook line and sinker and it really society -ociety was changing. You know this was woodstock. Society was changing so people like Jerry Lewis became out of fashion was the smothers brothers so so he really was it was so in demand live performer working the nightclubs the theaters Las Vegas and the telephone was a big part of it but he really had no film career to speak of so this was a wonderful challenge for him to do something different and also he by this point in his career. He also had a reputation in as something of a of a pompous blowhard. I mean his all of his films. That were you chits. In the early sixties we're basically directed toward kids and as he got older sort of like Adam Sandler but but you know a genius Adam Sandler he likes like Sandler's films he was trying to make the transition into doing adult roles but the adult audiences dances weren't weren't following him. He's basically known for failed television. Variety shows appearances on talk shows and the telethon every year. Jerry Lewis would would would hijack twenty four hours television time on Labor Day weekend and put on this telethon from Moscow dystrophy. Tell us about Bertha's. You worked on at least one telethon the more of us that's where I became infected with the virus as a child. When I was a kid I grew up in that sweet spot of Jerry Lewis career around the time of the ladies man the errand boy the nutty professor would go my parents my mother would dump us off at the Norwalk theater on weekends for to see double features of Jerry Lewis Films and we would have muscular dystrophy carnivals in our driveway because he was tied in with McDonald's and they would you be able to send away the Jerry Lewis said you you know ideas for for putting on little displays in your driveway to make money for muscular dystrophy and that was really huge in the sixties so kids still loved Jerry Lewis by the time we got to by the time we got to again like nineteen seventy. Two Jerry Lewis really wasn't making films anymore right yeah. He had fallen out of fashion. You know like I said fashion ashes had changed and so this was a welcome thing. Also it was a movie. He would not have done earlier in his career when he was still the clown is now he was was older and could could try something dramatic because he had aged he he jerry Lewis. The character had matured so now it was time to move blonde so here was this script that had been sitting around for a few years. I just learned something yesterday doing research on the day. The clown cried burke. It may not even know this fact oh boy the title was used for a documentary about the Hartford Circus fire which is one of the most horrifying circus fires. Here's ever which ironically ties into the book the show won't go on per tells about a circus fire while they had the Hartford Circus fire was ringling brothers. Barnum Bailey circus came to town and the tent caught on fire and how many people one hundred and seventy seven people were killed in the fire and the time it broke out the great. We'll lenders. Were on the high wire. the great will lend is high wire act they were the first to notice that the flames were licking the size of the tent and they a they all they all survived but they didn't survive other performances as you could find out if you read the book look what a nice days but it was. I think one of the greatest greatest one of the most tragic circus accidents ever in the history of recorded entertainment in one hundred sixty seven people plus plus peritonitis fire did say what year was nineteen forty four nine hundred forty three. I believe so this forties yeah one of the people who was in the audience who was traumatized by this who saw people die in front of him became the great comedian and director and mm game show guest Charles Nelson Reilly and he actually did a one man show or this was a big part of it and there's a wonderful shot of Emmett Kelly the clown bringing a bucket doc ID of water to the fire and that's where the image of a day the clown cried and so it was interesting when googling it became up I said it was the name of this documentary and this was in the early sixties sixties but going back to the screenplay screenplay had been written by a publicist named Jono Brian and a columnist named Charles Day Dayton Ayton Denton and they originally tried to do it for television and it was too hot too controversial for television and they try to shop it around and in the early sixties. Xt's Alec Guinness was attached to this project he was going to star in it produce it and then that kind of went away and then Milton Berle which is interesting choice a a clown of one generation older than Jerry Lewis he was attached to it and he said this could be my Oscar winning performance. It's very much like a Rod Steiger in the porn broker and now for a number of years. It was always we're going to do it this summer. It's moved. We're GONNA do it in January. Sorry and that disappeared other names had been attached apparently defend dyke Bobby Darin borough was attached for quite a long time and then it went dormant and by Nineteen seventy-one or so Jerry Lewis's becomes attached and he always said I was offered a script for ten years and I turned it down but I did not not denying Jerry Lewis the truth what he's saying but I I couldn't come across any entries of Jerry Lewis prior to about nineteen seventy-one anyone with his name attached to the movie and at this point in film history the Holocaust drama is not really a thing thing right at at this in twenty nineteen. You know there's there's usually at least one holocaust movie every year but at this point in in nineteen seventy two that that wasn't really Assad lack of a better word genre of movie that was being made at the time right the World War movie was was was still pretty big. They were doing world World War Two movies but to do a movie about the Holocaust which was still very fresh in people's minds it was it was only twenty five years or so since the Holocaust took place but to have a comedian star in the film Jerry Lewis you know even though he often referred to himself as super for Jew and was very proud of his Jewish heritage. Although he didn't bring up his children Jewish his wife was a Roman Catholic and all of his kids went to Catholic school and we're baptized as Roman and Catholics and when he had his his oldest child Gary Lewis Reach Bar Mitzvah Age Jerry's parents gave him a lot of pressure to give the kid a bar Mitzvah for so they hired a photographer and faked the photos to send send to his mother and father. They thought that Gary was Bar Mitzvah but he never was my parents have done that. That would have been a lot easier easier. Those are the same children that he cuts off completely from his work later. I'll either. They weren't children when when they were cut off. They're grown men and going but you know that is a great tap. TMZ Headline Jerry Lewis Leaves Children Out of will but have bird and I have been very privy to have inside information about some of these children. I'm not surprised he's had nothing to do with some of these children. I've heard nightmares about this when your child is seventy. It's not like children. George Burns also when he died at a hundred. He didn't give money to his children. He said they live long lives or in the seventies. I took care of for them so people living leaving children out of their their news is not a big deal but when is Jerry Lewis. It's a big deal. Did the money go the to the second wife. Hi and his daughter with her the younger well yeah a he apparently cheated a whole lot on at least his first wife allegedly sure it's always he's allegedly when the man cheats on his wife so then when they break up it appears that they break up on very bad terms and then the children kind of goal in that same bundle of I have nothing to do with that family yes well. They went they they bounce back and forth between allegiances and that that was that was also part of it too. I think one or two of the sons attended the wedding and Jerry Lewis and SAM other ones didn't they went over and over over forty years fifty years and over the years you know Chris Lewis was involved with the telethon it. I'm Anthony had worked with his father and traveled him so they they did go in faction. Is I mean. There's just a lot of personal things. We don't know we never do going back to the Holocaust Remem- just even making fun of Germans. We did have Hogan's heroes but this is perform. L. Brooks was doing the you know you know He. He had done the producers but it was Jerry. Lewis was a was a proud joe and wanted to make a mark about Hitler in this movie so that's an interesting thing so the big the question about this movie that we saw pieces right is the tone right how much comedy is really in this film and I haven't read the script but you the half and can you tell from the script is just dramatic movie or other scenes Dara comedic. It's a it's a dramatic film to very dramatic film. It's a very respectful film and it it's it's an art film it from from the parts that we've seen it's moving very touching and moving and deeply felt film. There are elements of comedy in it. Jerry Lewis plays a clown and there are bits where he's performing as a clown performs. We'll get into what the the plot is about but he performances the clown and there are a couple of scenes that are in the script that are a little bit off putting there's one point where Jerry Lewis playing the prisoner in a in a prison camp is left in his bunk while all the other prisoners outside over sleeps for some sort of roll call and the guard opens up all the windows and all the doors and let's all the cold air in so that Jerry Lewis is like freezing and he gets out of bed. He doesn't have a blanket anymore and he goes around the corner into the bathroom and you hear him urinate ice cubes and that's sort of that's that's the one bit in the movie that I think people have jumped on saying look at the slapstick funny stuff but it was it was it was a weird again. It was an audio joke eggs again. Jerry Lewis doesn't also also very European very Jacques Tati sort of thing those those sound gags. That's the one thing that stands out and the rest of the film. There aren't any burke. Could you talk a little bit about what we watched this this assembly that out there that that that you pointed us almost out there but not really right. I think it was in twenty sixteen for we saw afforded for the first time really and it turns out I they had been seen in a German documentary and some Swedish documentary. The movie was partially shot in Sweden so we're basically footage really forty years later had escaped and we got a lot of it was pulled up on Youtube alive. It was pulled off quickly and things of that nature so i. I don't know if it's still on Youtube. Now I know has been pulled off legal reasons or what's what somebody in in Germany did was took all of the available footage and an assembled chronologically assembled it into a rough cut of the film and the scenes that were not in the film left out large parts of the film but you get the basic idea of the arc the scenes that weren't there they they had actors reenactment and read the lines in a studio. It seemed like those were maybe the actors from the original. You are correct. A couple of those actors were from the original movie that is correct. ESO It's about out thirty minutes long this piece that we watched and yeah you get a sense of how the movie starts how how. Jerry's character ends up in the camp. What's the arc of this character right right well. If you want to go over the plots let's talk about what's his name first of all originally he was named his name was Karl Schmidt Role Schmidt and of course this being Jerry Lewis change the name to helmet Dork so because it's sort of Jerry Lewis sort of Julius Kelp kind of name and he's not playing a Jew in in the movie very interesting. He's not playing enjoy it. It takes a bit you have to get into the movie of maybe about ten minutes before we even realized that it's taking place in Germany during World War Two and the that's the Hitler movie it opens up the Jerry Lewis as a clown who may have at one point been a great clown now he's working as a stooge for the star of a circus purpose and it opens up with an entry that the that the clown is making the the star of the circus. Jerry Lewis he walks into the th the ring of the circus and Jerry Lewis is holding onto his tales of his coat which is about thirty feet long like they are and Jerry Lewis trips on the way in and gets a much bigger laugh than the star does now Jerry. Jerry's character claims that it was a mistake they said no it wasn't you're trying to outshine and he gets fired from the circus by the lead cloud the lead clown so he gets he gets from the circus he goes home to his wife and the actress is someone who worked with Bergman Yeah. She's famous actress right away. She does complain about the actress herself about Jerry as director right but she did recognize her pretty much ignorant Bergman movies. She's great. I cannot remember her name now but and he's so angry and he's he's had it with life. He's had he can't take it anymore. What does he do. He goes to the bar and he goes to the bar and he sits there and he has a drink and he's drinking and he's cursing the world and then he looks up and then they reveal above the bar picture of Adolf Hitler. So Jerry has some words helmet. It has some words about Hitler. He makes fun of Hitler. He actually does some goosestepping around the bar and he he does this. This becomes a clown imitating Hitler. He doesn't notice the two guys sitting at a table having a drink watching him. Jerry gets arrested he winds up being taken on a train to a prison camp but at this point and I think you realize that two years have passed and he's he's in this in the barracks with the other prisoners they're all area. N- they're all they're all criminals. Jerry area helmet is very stand off from the rest of them. He doesn't believe he belongs there and he's been promised that there's some paperwork that's going to get him out at any moment and he's keeps is trying to talk to the guards and talk to the Gestapo to get the permission to leave and they keep putting putting that off. He can't get out. He's pressured by some bullying prisoners to prove that he was the great clown and he refuses to do it and he gets beaten and he gets he gets in fights with people and he's thinks he's so far above everyone at this point when you're reading the script right because he mostly taken this detailed. Plod from the script right. What is the sense that you're getting from. This character like it's very sympathetic is the very out of place Fisher water because being such big comedy star how does he you read in this film. He is not like Roberto Benin character. He's not likeable through this part of it later. He becomes likable when he finds redemption in the script. He's he's he's aloof. He's very standoffish from the other prisoners but he doesn't want to get involved with with any sort of you know games soccer that they played so you got interested in that because he thinks he's going to get out and he's going to get out. He doesn't WanNa make any waves and he doesn't belong there. Does he make a at this point already his best friend he's. BFF At the prison camp yes he's friends with the minister and the minister sort of watches over him gets out of gets them out of fights here and there and tries is to give him some advice on how to learn how to get along and then it all changes one day they come in and they say we're moving some new men into the barracks because removing some new prisoners in and it turns out they split the prison camp in half with barbed wire and on the other side of the barb wire are Jewish prisoners the non Aryans they call them and a whole lot of children. It's you know it's amazing the more and more you you re descript in the scenes. It's yeah. This is a great sense of darkness in the movie. was you know you really have to give him credit. As a director as an actor had really threw away away the Jerry Lewis Personas. We knew you know it's it's. It's you look at the footage. I've heard people who watched it and critics and things like that. It's it's you know it was very orson. Welles ask you know in terms of what he was trying to capture are just truly brilliant. In that movie. I would've loved to to get to here though scenes his performance because the thing that we're watching originally aired on German television it's all dubbed over in German so no you can't get a a sense of the what the the live performance was by the actors speaking English. I'm just so curious you know even unlike what does his voice sound like you know and this is whom it would be something probably closer to the king of comedy than to the nutty professor but just to hear his performance so interested he also did his first dramatic role was in nineteen fifty nine. I believe it was it was a television version of the jazz singer. the the Al Jolson film he He he played a clown or comedian right. It was a it was a comedian in it and that was a dramatic performance and it was of course pilloried by the critics. Jerry Lewis was a fine actor. He was a really good actress. We saw later in other films he did like Max rose and King of comedy and then what was the other one even the TV show Wiseguy do the art of the arc on Wiseguy yeah and if you go back to the nutty professor you realize is the acting you know the two roles of Julius Kelp and Buddy love and that is acting and Jerry Lewis will tell you oh he's acting like a nine year old child he he was always acting but when you make it look so easy and you do all those crazy noises and voices people just think oh Jerry Lewis is just being Jerry Lewis now. He's acting thing at role that seems like that commonly happens to actors who become known for comedy right. The people think that's all they can do. I feel like it's the common refrain to hear. People say that dramatic acting as easy. It's comedy acting. That's hard and most comedy actors then try to have this moment and right where they show off their dramatic chops. Absolutely you know like I said Milton Berle was trying to do that to prove himself that it wasn't just a burlesque sketch comedian. You know it's funny. That quote of Jerry Lewis saying you know I had descript for ten years and I didn't WanNa do it. You know so in one thousand nine hundred ninety nine. Martin Lewis had just broken up Jerry's at still at the height. You'll do these great TV specials. He does a dramatic version of the jazz singer and it was panned and years later they were going to do a major. Jerry Lewis Retrospective and they were gonNA show that movie for the first time it had completely been lost and at the last minute Jerry said No. I don't think so I don't think it's ready to be shown so he was not ready to show the public that this other side you know and so I think it did take until nineteen seventy-two for to stretch and I think years later when he turned on the movie himself I think he realized maybe that's not the persona. I want people to say you know it wasn't a legacy he wanted yeah leave behind so the prison camp is separated now by barb wire into the non. Aryan side and the area site and on the Non Aryan side or children and a lot of them are crying a lot of them are very distressed and and Jerry Lewis goes over to the fence and in order to calm the children begins to clown and something he would never do with the other prisoners but he does it for the kids and he makes them stop crying. He makes them laugh and he brings them real comfort so the guards allow him to do this. Yes and Helmet Helmet Dork begins to find that inner clown again the other inmates. Make them up coat with buttons on it and they. AM They give a comedy coat and he begins to put on clown makeup that he uses whatever you can find a put on some makeup on his face and he's he's got a putty nose and he goes goes out there every day and takes care of the kids until one day another commandant takes over the prison camp and looking out the window says what's going on down there and they said well. It's this it's this guy who's a clown and he's helping the kids and they put a stop to it and the guard comes down to two helmet tells them to stop helmet clouds around in front of the Guard and the guard beats. Him Beats him very viciously. Another prisoner comes over to to stop it. He starts punching the guard. There's a fight and there's a whole fight scene going on here which ends with one of the guards shooting a man point blank in the head in front of all the kids anyway at that point. It's all over helmet. The clown is no longer going to perform for the kids. You wind up in a cell in solitary low point point of the movie right so I no longer even can be tibby ends pretty low. That's what I was GONNA say. So it's the low point in terms of the three the act story structure right there is Lucien that comes in the act three is even darker which is very non Hollywood movie bright move this was this was a European films film this this was shot in comparison in Switzerland as we Sweden and the the financier were from Europe while they're making the film as a matter of fact the money man nate nate nate disappeared checks were bouncing. People weren't getting paid. Jerry Lewis ought to put his own money for it. He sold one of his houses. He sold his ought. He's putting you know he also had to pay for the post production. At this point. Everything's going to hell and just a matter of finishing the film and the authors of the script screenwriters didn't even and get paid for the full option rights but what what ends up being part of the reason why it never comes out right. One of the punch lines was that in the end they never ever had the rights to make the film they they never paid the writers and then the option that they did have expired so by the time they made the film it wasn't their film to make it wasn't their script to make and then because they had not paid all the money that was due the writers they were not allowed to change the script so that was the big problem. Joan O'Brien had seen a rough part of the movie was distraught. The way that Jerry had made those changes if everything had been paid for out in full Jerry would have been there was nothing she would have done but since money was still owed to her she had the right to then say I'm done. You have no rights so that was the big issue on that. The Bergman actress didn't get paid either and in that ps though we saw her friend is asking if somebody can still pay her they can find her because she's still waiting for her paycheck and now she will never get like we know that years later so helmet is corrected for entertaining the children he's he spent some time in solitary confinement and and then things really take a turn well then they they they can use his help. They're bringing. They're taking the children from the camp the removing them. They're putting them on a train car and they're going to take them to another camp. Helmet gets the job to keep the kids quiet because they're making a lot of noise or crying in the train car. Can you just go in there. Get Him to calm down before the train takes off then you can come and you come back to the camp. We'll talk about releasing you so helmet goes into the into the car a heartbreaking king seen when these little kids see him and they see helmet one kid grabs his leg and the others all gather around him and again he he performs for them. in the script one of the guards of the kindly guards gives them an old harmonica and he plays her Monica with the kids and he gets them to calm down well in the middle of all this someone shuts the door of of the of the train car and Helmet realizes he you know he he starts banging. Let me out let me out. The train starts taking off now. Helmet is heading off to this other camp with the children which he didn't expect to do and the kids are asking him where we're going where they taking us and of course the viewer for we think we do know when they're going and yes does the script. Give a sense of whether this was part of the commandants. Don's plan to Kinda like get rid of helmet because it seems like it's left up in the Arab as to whether this was really an accident or not well in in in the script they do make they they do make clear that the commandant of the leader of the camp thinks that he may have escaped. I don't think that everybody knew that he was he was there because when he when he does arrive at the next camp any talks to the commandant of that camp the prisoners. You're listed as an escapee. They're looking for you. there are there is a scene where they say you know. Uh. Let's go out and find him as well. He's not going to get far if you ran off into the woods so they don't they don't realize where he is sort of a nonperson now they get to the camp and a shout. It's outfits and the children are there. they're taken away. They're put they're put into a into a building and helmet royal windows. No windows and helmet is brought into the commandant and they say now you can really help us. We need you to this was based on some historic fact because again they did have to use ruses to get people into the gas chambers at times they said we all you need to do is to take the children because they're going to be very upset. Calm them down and walk them from building a to building be then they'll shut the door and then we'll see see about letting you go and he's like what you watt. Children YOU WANNA kill children and they're saying we're just being very efficient here because children will never forget what we did to them here. They're gonNA grow up and they're going to become warriors. This is a new kind of war. We're going to kill these fighters before they become fighters. Take care of them now. He spells it out to to helmet that they're gonNA kill these. Children and helmet doesn't know what to do. Well the next scene you see. He's leading the children in the script in the script. He's like the Pied Piper. The children are dancing and they're laughing and they're and they're they're carrying on the way and with no idea and helmet is wiping away a tear in the way. Jerry Lewis filmed it it was it was far more dramatic and far more moving it it was it was it was a death march. Jerry Lewis of helmet is leading it. He's crying. He leads the children to the door. They trust him. They all walk into to the into the building with no windows and helmet follows them in shut the door here the his- the end so he chose us today with them. Yes yeah one of the. Children Kinda looks back at him like holds holds his hand and he decides to walk through the door with her takes her hand. Yeah pretty bleak. There's no place for comedy when I listen to this and that's the thing I you know maybe Sasha we can talk a little bit about what our experience with Jerry area the day. The clown cried was before this. Maybe there's a good opportunity you know. I it's an infamous production right a film that never came out and I I don't know if I just kind of assumed but I always did have the impression that it was comedic and certainly the thirty minutes that we watch are not and so that that for me was surprising just based on what I had assumed this movie was Kinda. GonNa be well. The comedy came later and you can thank a guy by the name of Harry. Shearer sure for doing this Harry. Sheer is is the saddest and he's the snarky comedy comedy guru remember spinal tap. He did an article for spy magazine in Nineteen seventy nine and said that he saw the film that someone had gotten him a copy of it and he saw so so. Was this film ever edited. I'm just going to interfere here because I from what I understand. It was never cut together. Jerry Lewis spent months post production even after the whole issue of Joe O'Brien complaining. You don't have the rights. Jerry still was saying up until about nineteen seventy three. Oh it's going to be released. I'm going to take two cans and he had a rough print of the movie. Someone else had the negative but so I know people who had people in the Jerry Lewis Organization who said they had seen the movie so I completely believe Harry did see the movie. It was at the comedy it was it was the snarky -ness of the movie. I think people you'd always thought it was just a cheesy. Jerry Lewis the clown playing this slapstick guy late is going to yell. Hey Lady in a concentration camp. That's it's where people had thought really this for any footage had been seen and having spent some time with Harry I had worked on the twenty fifth anniversary of spinal tap and Michael Christopher and Harry would sit around and they loved to make fun of the Jerry Lewis Telethon Jerry Lewis. You know this. Is You know the guy in the Tuxedo. Oh the guy who would sing you know you'll never walk alone you know in the Tuxedo and that was Jerry Lewis. They like to make fun of they had forgotton. Latin the Bellboy the boy so for Harry to make those remarks it was in keeping with Harry to be snarky and so Harry sorry tells the entire world right heels Hollywood and the entire world has seen this film and it's an terrible terrible taste to quote Harry seeing the movie is liking liking it to a painting on Black Velvet of Auschwitz and I have a velvet Elvis and that runs in great and that rang not true throw but that was the record of the movie for years until then patent Oswald and his friends got together and they would do comical readings of the script and you know do the Jerry Lewis Character in the Professor Kelp voice or do him in the in the in the voice of really nasty entertainer and they they made fun of it and did a lot of readings that got a lot of popularity about it again. It was the sound Sean it was the Snarky hipsters making fun of the old school character and then also don't don't forget we had Roberto Panini in life is beautiful so they said Ou comedian in a Holocaust movie so wait a minute. Where have we heard that before so that created renewed interest in that movie and Robin Williams stood Jacob the liar right and then there was talk of actually getting a day the clown cried. I remade someone said Chevy Chase and even Robin Williams was attached with that never happened and that's why when I'm sandler right yeah absolutely and then when patent Oswald was do do these readings for day the clown cried he would get a cease and desist not from Jerry Lewis but nuke owners of the script gripped and so that's why those readings all were prohibited and at some point was up in up until the eighties Jerry will say yeah. I may get released. It may get released but at some point he realized you know what this is not a movie. It should have been made. I made a terrible mistake. He was actually embarrassed by it. At a certain certain point he starts saying that it's bad right yeah and he tells people to not ask him about this film or the interview will stop right. He becomes very the protective of this topic so it becomes pretty much impossible to get any information from him so people stop asking him about it but once in a while to new footage with syrup purpose on youtube correct yes once in a while. There's been a report that the library of Congress has it and they might release it. You know years after Lewis's death twenty twenty twenty five. I I have my ticket front row. They recently said that actually what they have is. Not a lie completed cut of the film. They don't even have a completed cut. They just have a some assembly of footage. I have a question to both of you. If you imagine if you imagine that the day the clown cried was out without oldest controversy without all this gossip and you know gassing passing of water it might be. Where do you think this film would stand like if really came out without all this negative publicity behind it or controversial publicity? What would it be. What would it be like. Life is beautiful would be Oscar worthy. I think it's an Oscar worthy film. I think Lewis has performances an Oscar worthy performance formation's nowadays when you get a comedian playing a dramatic role. That's how that's how they get their their Academy Awards. This was seventy two This is a film that that that influenced Spielberg you know when when Jerry Lewis was a lecturer at at us at Ucla a Steven Spielberg is one of his students so as George Lucas and Francis Coppola. These guys all learned from from Jerry Lewis. I don't think there there might not have been a Life is beautiful because it would have been a joke compared to the day. The clown cried you. Robin Williams did Jacob the liar there's right now. There's a film that that just opened at one of the film festivals as a kid who's a Hitler youth and Adolf Hitler's imaginary Magin area best friend Joe Joe Joe Joe Rabbit takeaway. Td's Yeah Nice. It's also quite possible it if the movie had been released in Seventy two seventy three the public may have not accepted Jerry Lewis dramatic role it really wasn't until he did the king of comedy where he got his first rave reviews and Jerry Lewis says oh now I finally get good reviews. He goes that was easy. You know playing a nine year old child that was acting. I walked through that that was a piece of cake so as much as I personally love. Life is beautiful. I remember seeing it in the original. TALION credits came up. I could not move about three minutes. I was had never seen it was a kid. I loved this film when he however I remember Neil Simon Hating. The movie thought it was disrespectful terrible. Oh so there I mean I can't remember whether Mel Brooks was a detract Bernama the number of people to track it so I don't know it may have been a little too premature for Jerry. It may have one of those movies where people go back years later and say I get it Sasha. Did you have any foreknowledge colleges the day the clown cried I did not I think the the title sounds familiar win. It came to be the subject of podcast because you're a big fan of that documentary about that circus fire. That's right and the book which is mentioned in our book on exactly. I'm a fan of the book. The show won't go on with the authors who are the guests of our podcast today. If you're just tuning in a student in please check the book out. It's doing great right. It's in our eighth printing. The first seven were blurry. Sorry Milton Berle but the reason the movie has such intrigue. All the years later is because it's never never been seen speaking of things that have never been seen in this ties into our book. There was an episode of the Dick Cabbage. Show where someone died on television and the episode never aired Eric and is the most intriguing episode Chris. Everyone thinks it aired so it's always that element of people wanting to see something you know so. I think that's why the movie has his partial. If it was came out no one liked it it would just be tossed in the pile with all the other movies yeah like Brian Wilson of the beach boys smile them that had been talked about for years and years until you know thirty years later Brian Wilson recreate it or did you write Iota Arou- Skis Ski Dune right like that's there's commander about that. There's a film much talked about and it was never made right but it was almost made made and there's a lot of artifacts surrounding it. The mystique is almost more appealing than the thing itself right. which may maybe the case with the movie? We're talking about today. You know I think it was what prince had think. Call the black album. That never got released. Maybe that was the longest time underground album nobleman. Terry Gilliam's posted to the man of a macho. He's made documentaries about the movie so I think there's always that intrigued about something you can't let's see and that's really do it and all the other side of the wind which was just was recreated for net flicks. They took they took these pieces of the film that had never been and completed. Yeah I mean the only thing we really had to go on is what we do know about. Jerry right the things that we have seen the things that are out there and then these clips Stephen Stephen. How many Jerry Lewis Movies have you seen in. which ones have you seen everyone seven times? I haven't seen a ton of them. Immuno I growing up in an American Jewish household. Jerry Lewis was if not revered certainly highly respected by my parents. you know they anytime. There's a documentary about him on. PBS We would watch it so I seen hours of clips and the telethon on but for some reason I never saw tun of the whole movies I've seen the king a comedy and I've seen some of the Martin and Lewis Stuff. I've seen artists and models but I really had never seen just a jerry movie so I watched the nutty professor before this and yeah it was my first pure. Jerry experience very very interesting and he directed it right so you get a true sense of humor is his humor but also just his style you know the nutty professor is very stylized in a in and really engaging way. It's such a colorful movie and the sets are really fun to look cat and just the way people are moving around in the spaces which unfortunately it's not something you you get a great sense of those clips from the day. The clown cried because they're not like fully finished you know but to see Jerry. Take that directorial aesthetic. It would be so interesting to see what the finished product of the data clown car would have been twenty twenty-five what about USA. I hadn't seen any Jerry Lewis Films. I did see King of comedy actually but it was great Phil. Apparently his performance was very much. Watch what he was going through. According to his interviews he had a lot of soccers. He felt like people had were just imagining what his lives like and we're trying to interject themselves into his life personal life so that's interesting to me like what is feels like a third act of his career. You're right like whose first act maybe of his career was. Martin Lose Second Act were old ninety professor bellboy errand boy and a few other boy movies that are probably a Cinder Fella and ladies Manas it. That's what I call it. I always say when asking for Jerry Lewis. The nutty professor has gotten a life itself and some people go oh the Eddie Murphy movie. You have to remind him but no I always say you want the boy movies and the man movie you know that is is he still in his third. He's in his early thirties. He's young absolutely nutty. Professors is is not my favorite movie the I certainly enjoy it. Some people are more putty love fanatics. I'm more of a Professor Kelp Fan but but you see what he did in the errand boy and the bellboy is such minimalistic movies so brilliant. The patsy is as film that is a real indictment of the Hollywood system. It opens with the death of a a comedy star in a plane crash and the people that will work for him his whole entourage figure they could get anyone to replace them because the people around him with the ones that made in a big so they they figured let's take anybody an average guy and then incomes great scene of this bill bellboy into goes. That's it we found our patsy and then they try to mold them by giving him singing lessons acting lessons and dancing lessons and till he pulls the sheets out improves. Hollywood is a bunch of phonies and and also connecting King of comedy to the day the clown cried. There's an interesting seeing this has come up recently. Someone was emailed me about this just last week. There's a scene where Jerry Lewis Playing Jerry Langford talk show host is at his home in the Hamptons and Robert Deniro and San and his and Diane Abbott who played his girlfriend show up unannounced at his house and talk their way in the Ah Butler allows them in Jerry comes home and sees this guy who's been bothering him in his house and gets really really angry angry. I understandably well. You see the scene. Jerry's face what it turns out as they said Deniro stood off camera and shouted outed instead the most worst anti Semitic things he could think of into Jerry Lewis face to get Jerry's reaction of anger and he kept saying worse and worse antisemitic somatic things until Jerry was ready to kill him and what was the quote. He said to Deniro he says too. I think Deniro says I'm trying to help goes so was Hitler. Now that's an interesting part of the movie actually because it's always fell to me that there's like a scene missing before that part because they arrive all all of a sudden to his mansion but they feel that there's another part of relationships somewhere that's been taking out of the script or like it was left on the cutting floor like that always felt like it just such as jump in the story to get from the previously into them just unannounced arriving to Jerry Langford mansion that that they have an address for you know there's funny. I there was a retrospective with with Martin Scorsese Jerry Lewis and Deniro maybe ten years ago ago when they were reunited and they were talking about that scene and if you remember Deniro's in the House with his girlfriend and the Asian Butler and Jerry trying to get in the door and he can't in open the door that stock. He said the door was really stuck. The couldn't get in the frustration is so great on juries expression and De Niro really you did a great job of staying offset and not mingling with Jerry. He's supposed to be someone who's stalking. Jerry so if they were going to have lunch together after shooting a scene it would not work. He said Deniro you know the most method actor in that movie and the original character was not named Jerry Langford and Jerry very apparently told Marty Scorsese's. You're GONNA be filming outside New York. You're going to have some problems you should you should you should sit call him. Jerry and if you notice he's walking industry and all the you know the hard hat guys in the cavern. Hey Jerry so it had a very real feel to it. So what are your favorite. Jerry movies is is. Is it the Patsy or the errand boy what what's the quintessential Jerry experience for you too. I love the ladies man you know. It's again is nerdy guy with. It's great named Herbert heaver. You know he's always Melvin. Sanley is nerdy guy and he's got his stock companies Kathleen Freeman. When is the lady you know and he's in a house. He's a houseboy with all these women and it's really a series of and yet you know. There's a scene in there. The Great Buddy Lester was a character actor comes into the scene to pick up his girlfriend and Jerry Lewis tries to adjust his hat and it is is just madness ensues to describe what we do injustice but watch it in Orson Welles said this is probably one of the funniest things ever been captured on film also on that film the Ladies Man Jerry Lewis Bill at the time which was the largest indoor set a in movie in movie history. They call it the dollhouse and it was cut away version of a three story building. We're all the women lived. Every room was equipped. Microphones and the camera was able to be up on a crane or Dolly and just move around and saved a lot of money saved a lot of time he was. He was very innovative when it came to that. Would you say that your favorite burt that one on and the Bellboy I have I have just have affection for the bellboy which is the one he did on the fly and again it is a just a series of unconnected gags and vignettes for the most part what you have to give credit Jerry Lewis you know he was making a lot of vignette movies in Hollywood which is very hard to do. He also said he was Peter. Peterburg Donna Vich was one of the first to give a real appreciation esquire magazine when Bogdonovich was was a writer before he became a director and Jerry Lewis said to him I make these movies without real plot and vignettes so that when the nine year old kid is coming into the theater late with his uncle or his mother here's up to catch up with what happened before uh-huh so he he had he had a plan behind the madness it was also the these type of in yet and this kind of unique filming and the innovative filmmaking making is what really captured the Europeans Jerry Lewis the Europeans are not big Martin Lewis Fans. They're really more intrigued by the tour the filmmaker the director rector of the actor that he's carrying on the tradition of Chaplin and Keaton and people of that nature and that's why you know Shaq Todd T. Jerry lose love Jacques Tati. You know I do too. I do love Jacques. Teti quite a bit Chirac. Taty Tattoo next Jerry Lewis Tattoo by the way to this mosque. Moscow is not like his background is not French as you guys know yeah. He's like of Russian descent which is so is Jerry Lewis yeah the way you're describing. The bellboy certainly sounds a lot like monocle or playtime yeah and they borrowed from each other. I mean Jerry Lewis borrowed a lot from Jacques. Tati as far as you know the gags with the audio and the along Gatien jokes he's had where he's you know he's lifting weights and suddenly they fall in his in his arms extended. He borrowed a lot from Jacques Tati and Jacques Tati. I think making a movie every fifteen years far from Jerry Lewis we think about Jerry Lewis was friends with Stan Laurel. He was friends with Charlie Chaplin he was he was one of the great filmmakers and he he got one Oscar. One Academy Award and it was for humanitarian work. Jerry Lewis Never got an Oscar for inventing the the video assist or for any any of the other work that he did a lifetime achievement in movies. You know Paul Newman or peanut oil the other thing which I love about the Jerry Lewis movie is a great great physical comedy. You know the Byrd explaining gags lifting weights in your arm stretch down six feet but it was also the verbal comedy you know the voice that would change to the lady you know that there's a scene in the errand boy where he's walking on the studio lot and he's introduced to someone by the name of Bay woes with all and for about ninety seconds. Jerry Lewis is trying to pronounce a name and it's tears every time you know and if the also in the errand boy Jerry's he's trying to get out of door with packages and it's just trying to repeat these instructions and this gibberish talk. It's just just makes me. He just laughed. He makes me laugh out loud. I think that's the job of a comedian and he makes me laugh out. Loud the loudest and the longest. I if there's something that are like Jerry Lewis for. It's for his comedy to try say right so if you watch buster Keaton right. He has a beautiful face I I here's soulful eyes but he's very deadpan right so there's a lot of physical comedy going on Gags that don't really reflect on his face face and but you know it certain kind of comedy right the deadpan character. Will you see maybe his emotions coming through but there's not a lot of movement on the face. Jerry lose had a lot of pantomime you know facial technique right something that you'd see maybe multi cam later on in television history and things like that which is slightly going away right now in in terms of popularity right because it's very presentational theatrical but it is very hard to achieve for an actor and your loosehead the training in this pantomine anti-mine this physical workout since he was five years old doing pantomime musical numbers outside near his garage so he had a bunch of training that sort of came with him just having fun as a kid and I think that he's small strength to me as a comedian laze in that ability to do things with his face. I mean there are so many moments in his movies where there is no dialogue not talking about the bellboy which is basically a silent movie on or Jerry's characters. The silent character speaks at the end in the ladies man. There's a scene where he just trying to comb his hair and you just see the gestures back and forth and Chevy Chevy Chase said that everyone is a kid always tried to make those mugging faces I mean it's I mean he. He knew how to use his body. The face the body if you look at Cinderella and he's doing that dance you know up and down the staircase you know it's pure ballet's pure beauty. My favorite moment of Jerry Lewis from everything I've seen including King of comedy which I think is the best movie of Jerry Lewis. Even though it's not necessarily his vehicle my favorite moment of Jerry Lewis Louis is in the boy that I haven't seen but seeing that you sent me Bert when he is doing or yeah the boardroom pantomime scene so what happened to the bird would you describe that's the scene where he wanders into the boardroom an empty board room and sits down and a swing band music against play and he pantomime 's himself being the boss to account base number called Blues in Hoss flat and he plays well in plays the character pointing everybody at the table right yeah. It's frigging Isabelle a you know it's a comedy ballet and I never find myself laughing and that I just I'm inau of of mastery when I see something like that and this is tim me the peak performance of what your Louis personally. You're absolutely right. I mean there's so many great facial expressions in text and movement in in the face you know some of the Jerry Lewis Movies were written in collaboration with an jump named Bill Richmond who should be definitely given credit but I got to meet Bill Richmond and we did talk about the chairman of the board sequence and he said that was Jerry he said Jerry had a gift for music and he heard the music and he started to act it out and he just came alive alive and I knew a writer who had worked on the Geisha boy and he knew Jerry from the Martin and Lewis Tough Jerry was the kind of guy if you wrote four jokes for him him he would give you five and that's the difference between the comic and the comedian I mean he had it in his blood and again. Yeah I mean if you go back and watch. The chairman sequence look faces in the pantomime. It's it's it's it's amazing on. How many little pieces of business are in that that that make up that film so I mean now. We're going to have to try and do something that is nigh impossible. You know we're going to try and rate a man's life. Jerry Lewis Jerry Lewis left behind a full body work right he decades worth of art and influences and now we're going to boil it down to a number that will haunt us forever now. I see you have a person's name written on your paper here and I'm wondering if that is your reference point for a one to ten scale here yeah. We'll do here on this podcast. Shut up Lovett. Welcome here we do here. Each of us and I welcome you to do the same unless you feel like. It's impossible possible for you to do. I mean for you guys. Jerry might be the ten or eleven we do is create a personalized personalized scale ten point scale where we find another in this case comedian dad we love and and is up there right at nine or ten and then would take Jerry Lewis in this case and see where does he fall in relation tend to somebody that we think he's comparable to so let me understand this on this scale like zero would be like say carrot top care atop very very funny. Yeah no no. I actually worked with Scott and he was very funny. It's just unfortunately it's. It's one of the Great Punch lines at all time. Set me up with a great opening. I had to throw that in new carrot share tap will come up somehow and podcast glad you did and he did love Jerry Lewis Shirt chairman of the board couldn't help thinking about when you were talking about that chairman. See Jeff worked worked on that movie so Sasha. Who Do you have written down here. I have written down here is buster. Keaton already brought him up but I wanted to bring an Dan name. Dot is not after Jerry Lewis right because I can bring in comedian even Murphy or somebody right and be like he's a frigging Massar. He's as a ten but I not exist without Jerry right. I WANNA give Jerry lose credit for heavy influence people. Maybe somebody hating him but still being influenced by him right so that's why I took somebody who was decades apart in the opposite direction whose peak years to twenties probably right. Maybe thirty s and the most recent film I mean I saw the general and the most recent film that I saw Buster Keaton's was a steamboat bill junior which is not his most celebrated film but I found very interesting kept me on the edge of my seat the final famous gag of Buster Keaton standing ending on the open field and then storefront falling down on him in the way that the door or was it the window opening saves him basically from being crushed to death the best example of CGI. I've ever seen in the twenties they could do that. So I mean that's like the thing you go back to you. Just wonder how could even think of that and how it just shows his passion his love and it adds adrenaline to comedy which is something I think Jerry Lewis is did as well so buster. Keaton for me is probably a solid nine and he's not attend because I think he's still a little bit removed from me on the time line. It didn't grow up loving buster. Keaton right something that I developed love for later on in life now is he losing a point for those beach blanket movies. Tell me more about what are you saying in the mid sixties when buster always wanted to work and he never turned down work he did those terrible. Annette Funicello Frankie avalon movies lapointe there for the no but yeah some people take all the jobs and some people pick jobs they take right and he was going through a lot of alcoholism and raw deal from the studio right and his wife left so there's a lot going on and we're not here to talk about the busted and he's there at the nine looking down and my turn now to see where Jerry Lewis goal. I see Jerry Lewis in the very much three chapters which I brought up before the early Martin and Lewis Chapter where he is a fast on his feet energetic kid with with amazing comedy technique able to hold very early TV audience right. It's just shot in one freaking shot primitive television and you get sucked sucked into it. It's so hard to show live comedy on television and you like. This is amazing what he's doing here. I was fascinated by the first chapter of his career and then he loses me in and the chapter two well. I actually did joy quite a bit the bellboy because I'm GonNa go chronologically so I did enjoy the physical comedy of it and I love the scene Errand and boy the chairman of the board and then like nutty professor right is such a big film that could such a milestone for him and I did not like I did not like him. I'm playing a person maybe autistic. Maybe held back in some other way. I didn't like is cross. I performance is just didn't speak to me. I didn't find funny. I Dunno comedies such personal experience and he didn't make me laugh. It didn't make me enjoy his technique. There was just no connection. I was is dead inside as I was watching the professor. What time is it. Do we need to leave. My Jerry. Lewis Watch really yes. This is an honest podcast right and then I really liked him and King of comedy and I kind of give them a lot of credit for the day. The clown cried. I still can't tell what the tone of that film like. If it's super sappy then then it needs to be more Jerry Lewis if it's funny then it's in bad taste raced but I give them credit for being brave enough to try something because it's so hard right to especially when you feel like the rug from under your feet is being pulled away a and you losing that status of being the king of comedy and you see new guys probably there a few women but a lot of guys coming in and he's trying something different and so I give him credit for that so and the senior guys so passionate about him. I can't help it being influenced by it seems is tattooed. Jerry Lewis all over yourself. Like what am I gonNA do. If Boston has nine Jerry Lewis us is a generous five for me. Biggest died onstage. I don't matter I'm just I'm just one sole voice from Siberia calling in with my little experience with Jerry Lewis. I just think he got really big because there was not a lot l. going on around him. I think there was Bob. Hope the couple of other people you know. There was obviously Dean Martin but I think I think he just kind of took over and I just can't unhelped. It's kind of be a little overwhelmed by how obnoxious he comes off in those interviews and how full of himself he comes up and it just doesn't help me love him because there's something about kindness that I don't pick up on at all. Even though of course he worked on the telephone but I'm like I just don't get from us so for me. Here's a five because there's some brilliance that I recognized but overall. I'm not going to his comedy. Yeah Stephen. What about you. It does seem like he the person was more buddy love than professor right in real life in terms of nine nine and ten. I was going the same places you buster. Keaton Shock Taty. You know people who've been talking about so far. I I responded added to it a little bit more than you did. I think I hope so because I want to be the bad guy. I also didn't love. You've all of the professor help stuff in nutty professor but the technique to me is astounding you know the this is him at the height eight of his power right and and it shows and in terms of the day the clown cried yeah you know we don't know what the product is will never know probably. Oy You know twenty five Ron. He's like Jeff even then you know. I don't think we'll really know but it seems like his intentions. Are there you know the people who say oh. Jerry Lewis just wanted to win an academy award. You know maybe that was part of it. I don't know but he's doing something that people weren't doing at the time right now. A comedian does a Holocaust movie. Absolutely you think oh he's just trying to get an academy award right but this was this was not a thing people are doing at the time he was pushing a boundary and the right way even though we'll never know what the final product was twenty twenty-five as someone who has seen Jerry more as like a almost other worldly figure and haven't had a ton of experience with him in practice familiar with him more theory I'm right now. I'M GONNA put them at a seven. I'm more than eager to explore more because you know hearing you guys talk about the boy films and the man filming on that makes me want to go home and watch them now so that's a seven with plenty of room to go up and seven and five equals twelve ten. I'm not that way even need to ask you but we want to hear your rating slash final thoughts my final thoughts. Jerry Lewis I. I was lucky enough to have worked on one of the telephones with Jerry Lewis and then two years later spent a week with him filming the preparations for the telethon and then the telethon itself Jerry Lewis through the entire ordeal of the telephone and that's where I I got to see Jerry. I know that Jerry Lewis could be a prick. He was you know he he was crazy very many ways but that's Jerry Lewis Louis. He was very nice to me. and I also feel that Jerry Lewis is the one figure who represents all facets in in one body in one person person. There's twentieth century entertainment. There's a man you know the the pompousness the neediness the drive the ambition at the talent the talent he had in so many different ways you talk about that the chairman of the board seen he got his start doing they called a record act and it was pantomime ing too records that he would do in the catskills and this and that he put on a record and then he would act it out. That's why he was so expert by the time he was in his twenties into the end of that scene but I think there's no other entertainer -tainer who managed to master not just you know performing but master so many categories of entertainment from timely in the catskills to singing dancing basing to conducting to acting to you Radio Television Stage Nightclubs Vegas Broadway you know Jerry Lewis y you know what that ultimate figure and when when I when I did get to meet him it. was you know it was like a kid meeting. They always say don't don't don't meet your idols well in in this case it just you had a great effect on because he he he again he was very good to me and when we filmed him in his off scenes he gave us. Jerry Lewis for this thing that we shot with him. He had a Tantrum he joe. He did practical jokes. He did the voices he did everything he he bowed down to Frank Sinatra in a in a two-way interviewee did needed gags he was he was Jerry Lewis and that had a great effect on me. My kids of course are a bit disturbed because I have the the painting by Margaret Keane of Jerry Lewis and his family. I have a reproduction of that in a golden frame in our dining room and my children would say daddy. Why do we have another man's family another family other wallet our dining room think of him my son who is now twenty three years old. Little Sammy tells me that I really fucked them up by having jokes. Jerry it is life. The Holt I listen to Jerry Lewis Music could see pictures of Jerry Lewis in the hallways and everything but I think he understands yeah and your daughter. She's a teenage girl completely. Nobody knows so so can you. I mean probably sounds. I can't even put a number on Jerry. What's the point. I Guess No. I don't think you can put a number. You know it's funny you mentioned in my intro that with uninvolved the National Comedy Center and they were very smart and we're putting it together. They didn't call themselves a comedy hall of fame. You Know Louis Black. Who's a board member said you don't go to the met the Museum of Modern Art and go. Hey I wonder if we're I'M GONNA vote and Monet you know is he in the hall of fame so and you know when they did the first year the TV Hall of fame the first two comedians were Milton borough and Lucille ball is like Jackie gleason was like really pissy goes. I'm not in the first group. You know it's like it's very difficult when you rank people bowl because they have different styles. Jerry Lewis Different Than Keaton. He's different than chaplain curly Howard or Groucho. WC fields so it's you are Kinda in one way comparing apples and oranges different types of performers. I mean that's one thing and I think once you factor in the personal side and of someone's life it's really not right because we've all heard nightmares at Milton Berle was. Sob and Frank Sinatra was not that friendly and in Bob. Hope was a womanizer if you're going to do that I mean it's like what are we start drug testing in the rock and Roll Hall of fame. You know we're not that shouldn't be the criteria like I said earlier. If we're talking about someone that makes me laugh the loudest and longest. Jerry's way up there but you know. WC fields and Groucho voucher away up there too but having met demand. Do you have t shirts with Groucho. Yes I did as a kid. I got this from an auction for a guy. I was a big jerry. Lewis Collector Listener Jeff is wearing a t-shirt with the famous Jerry Lewis Logo while wearing Jerry Lewis Watch and bird has tattooed on his art to choose Burke Amman who Tom's having met him. Also you know I counted either met him in person about twenty five five times and it was always delight. I know people who burt and I both know people who worked with him on the telephone for twenty years and just adore him. and I think like you said the night before while I was doing research. I got down a rabbit hole. March Martin and Lewis colgate comedy hour clips. I was by myself laughing out. Loud very few people. Make me laugh out loud by myself. You know there is the great thing when you revival theater and you're with a group of people you're laughing at chaplain dinner rolls or or the modern times the machinery but Jerry. I don't need anyone else. I agree that the really rate test does is this person or does this make you laugh by yourself and also and also comedy doesn't necessarily age well. You know I mean it was funny for one generation and is going to be funny to another when you look at Jerry Lewis films that are like sixty years old. I was just looking at the nutty professor today and you know the timing. The timing timing is much slower than we're used to and jokes that that would make that would make you fall on the floor in one thousand nine hundred sixties because it was new and it was fresh today that sorta funny you can you can watch. Jacques Tati Film and be like Oh yes. That's very funny but you won't laugh very very Get that so. That's why it's also difficult to to look at that. You've got to look at it and realize that it's it's it's day but at the same time I think there are moments in Nosema dot every movie even in the boy movies and the man movie every moment is perfect you know if you remember the errand boy he has seen with the clowns the little puppets really jerry so I mean not every movie is one hundred percent perfect but there's enough in there and a body of work like I said I mean you think of Sinatra a body work and the influence you know I was very lucky to be a consultant in the publicist on a documentary the method to the madness of Jerry Lewis and you see Eddie Murphy our fee and Quentin Tarantino and Seinfeld and all these people to talk about the influence of Jerry Lewis and and then you watch the movie and you go yeah you know he you make people laugh and I'll I'll end on this note. I won't give a number you know. I could say eleven like spinal tap but why do that for Jerry. Lewis said that used to be a place in New York called hard and harder the Auto Matt Porn and harder and harder and Sardis was a fancy restaurant and the Jerry Lewis Yeah. I may not get the best table at Sardis but at the oral Matt Jerry Lewis's King he was the comedian of the people and that at the end of the day. That's the most important thing Talia. Thank you so much for coming in anything. You'd like to plug yeah. You guys want to talk about your book and the book. Yes we do have we have. It's just published recently. It's called the show won't go on the most shocking bazaar and historic deaths of performers on stage stage all of it in the middle of performing people who have dropped dead either by ailment suicide accident murder bullet bullet catching buried alive smashed by walls walls just getting back to you know what what people have said about the book is that basically it's not a morbid march of death. A cavalcade of people dying. It is a celebration of show business and performers is lives. It's very funny. It's very engaging. I read it and yeah. I thought it was very great tone. It was a lot of irony just embracing the irony of would would live snarky. We're not making don't make fun of anyone I mean we talked to survivors of people who died onstage thirty years ago and they Kreider in their interviews. Be You know so yes there. There's irony in in many of the passing. I mean the woman who's singing. Please don't talk about me when I'm gone then drops dead and everybody because we're standing ovation the comedian whose who says you know I let let's pretend that we're the only people left in the world and I will be your leader and then he does a face plant onto the stage WJR and they people people laugh hysterically and then when he doesn't get up they ask for their money back that that sort of thing so there are there is some unintentional humor in it but we he really wanted to do was to twist to celebrate people who gave their lives to show business and the use the right word irony in the the original original scope of the book was was kind of more trivial was two arches. A Trivia was to hey. Did you know so-and-so performers die I before show or did you know so and so died twenty four hours after their performance and was kind of that kind of trivia it was never about death it was it was it's kind of like counting. Their rare stats you know. Did you know that John Entwistle the WHO died in a hotel room with hookers and blow allegedly the night before the WHO is ready to start a tour so it was that kind of irony wow and then there were enough. We went Paris irony too like wow a lot of people did Diane stage. We had when we hit a thousand people we said okay. We've got a narrow this down to people who died on stage and that got it down to five hundred the big issue we have is people keep keep dying on stage which you do tweet and post about burn your book as we speak. I used to wake up in the morning and check the obits to see if my name was in the obituaries stories and if they weren't I would get up and have breakfast. Now we check to see who else has died and what did they died on stage in and we have it on our website. The show won't go on DOT COM or you can get to it by died on stage DOT COM as well. It all goes to the same place. We've got about twenty people who have died on stage in two thousand nine hundred alone and in the past three weeks from one. We're doing this interview. There have been five people who died on stage the drummer in a in a motown tribute band in Connecticut the Bass Player in Chicago tribute band in Long Island New York a popular Indian singer who killed over in the middle of singing pop song and on video and it went viral immediately a Spanish pop star in front of five thousand people at at a festival who was performing the the final number of of a huge show when in a pilot technic rocket went in the wrong direction and hit her in the stomach and exploded and one of the contestants on South American South African idol who died died just just this week it would have been six people because there is a guitarist by the name of Dan Warner. He's a four time Latin Grammy winner one time Grammy Winner. He was performing at a pub called Shenanigans in Hollywood Florida. PUT DOWN HIS GUITAR Walk to the Bar dropped out of a heart attack. He wasn't unfortunately still on stage so he wouldn't make the bottle website what the show does go on when it won't go on and where can our audience members can see us make it or Diane Stage Steven Yeah. If you're in Los Angeles you can come to the movie theater on Avenue the second Thursday of every month nine. PM The direct to video awards where we may die. I can't think of a better place to go except on stage. They hit award naked. Sasha said make it. Oh sorry sorry but I also so I either will be dead or naked yeah. We've never tried to do a show naked but people have done right before you don't have done shows naked people have done shows on the various substances and it's always a hoot. Thank you Jay eight hundred for production support. Yeah thank you to Andrew Hayworth for our theme music and thank you are thank you jeff and and Bert for coming down to the studio today and thank you Jerry Lewis absolutely thank you for having us proud on that and thank you career listening.