The Inspiring Jerry Lewis & I


Jerry Lewis was as much part of my life as he is of my career as a journalist. In fact along with Clint Eastwood he remains one of the few people who inspired me to watch films and later write on them professionally. Every month Network Television Marketing (NTM) would air a film or two of his after 9 30 PM and every act of his made us realize what a genius he was.

Be it his iconic scenes where he dances his heart out, his invisible typing or his many roles in one film, he had been there and had done that. It was the Bellboy that made me interested in Jerry and that interest remained the same till his final appearance in Max Rose, last year. Some of his films are discussed below that were screened on TV and made life ideal for us in pre-internet, pre-mobile era.

Rock A Bye Baby Song

Yes, Rock A Bye Baby wasn’t screened on TV as the content was too advanced but Jerry Lewis sang like there was no tomorrow in this classic film, his third after splitting with Dean Martin.

The Bellboy – Phone Scene

It was the Bellboy that began his career as a director and that’s one of the reasons why its Jerry Lewis as Stanley the Bellboy or himself that is present in every frame of the film.

Cinderfella – Grand Entry

The first time I saw the film I wasn’t impressed because I was a teenager at the time who didn’t expect Jerry Lewis to do anything but make funny faces. It was much later that I saw the film again and wondered as to why I didn’t like the new take on Cinderella the first place.

The Nutty Professor – Hangover Scene

Who can forget the original The Nutty Professor that had Jerry Lewis playing Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde in his own style!

Who’s Minding the store – Typewriter

The scene that changed my life because until then, comedy for me was anything but intelligent. Watching Jerry Lewis air-type a letter made me realize that if you are good at your work, then you can do anything!

The Disorderly Orderly – Spaghetti Scene

The film was repeatedly aired on TV during the 90s and the sequence that made all laugh was the one where Jerry Lewis’ character tries to eat Spaghetti. Check it out now!

The Family Jewels – Trailer

When one Jerry Lewis wasn’t enough, we had as many as 6 in The Family Jewels where they all try to impress their niece who has inherited a fortune from their eldest brother. This film is the perfect platform to showcase Jerry Lewis’ talent who was termed as someone who depended on Dean Martin in the 50s for success.

Boeing Boeing – Trailer

1 guy, 3 girlfriends … all air hostesses. Jerry Lewis plays the friend who bails out Tony Curtis when all 3 of his girlfriends arrive in the city, together. The film was repeatedly copied in India and Pakistan because the subject remains interesting even after 50 years.

Which Way To The Front – Learning German

Before he took a decade long break, Jerry Lewis learnt German and made all laugh hysterically because all he could do was get angry at the gramophone record teaching him!

The Defective Detective – Trailer

Jerry Lewis made different attempts to return to mainstream cinema and this French-American film gave him a chance to play a Defective Detective on the lines of Inspector Clouseau. Fans of Jerry Lewis loved him in the film as it was one of the few films he did in the 80s!

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