Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Heyyyy, Lewis!

Today marks the 90th birthday of legendary funnyman and humanitarian Jerry Lewis.  So I thought it made for a good time to celebrate his presence as himself in Toobworld.

Of course, most prominently would be his run as the driving force behind the MDA Labor Day telethon each year from its beginning in 1966 to 2010.  And then there was his ill-fated attempt to compete against Johnny Carson in the late-night talk show game in 1963.  

Both of those are accepted as second-tier qualifications for membership along with other TV shows that have a "televersion".  Sure, there are plenty of talk shows and variety programs which could be considered, but these are definitely embedded into the TV firmament:

'The Ed Sullivan Show'
- Episode #1.1 (1948)
- Episode #14.7 (1960)
- Episode #14.32 (1961)
- Episode #15.10 (1961)
- Episode #15.41 (1962) 

'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In'
- Episode #1.8 (1968)
- Episode #1.7 (1968)
- Episode #1.6 (1968) 

'Saturday Night Live'
Himself - Host
- Jerry Lewis/Loverboy (1983)

But that's not good enough when so many others actually had their televersions involved in fictional scenarios.  

Well, luckily for this tribute, Jerry Lewis appeared as himself in Earth Prime-Time four times, one more than was needed for the requirements!

'The Jack Benny Program'
- "Jack Visits the Vault" (1953)
It was an enlargement on a minor radio gag, much embellished with the advantages of television. He takes somebody to the basement of his house, which is super-bugler-proofed. I think there were alligators in a moat, creaking doors; and of course a guard who never saw the light of day, asking Jack if Coolidge was still president! But the thing I remember best is, after an enormous guillotine blade came down just behind them, Jack turned to his guest and said, "I've got to get that fixed. You know, it should have killed me!" - J.H. Boswell for the IMDb

- "The Road to Nairobi" (1954)
In this live episode, before the monologue, Bob steals Jack's pants, so Jack wears Don Wilson's. The skit features Bob and Jack as big game hunters in Africa, who get captured by cannibals. Martin & Lewis do a cameo at the end. - IMDb

- "The Bookworm Turns" (1966)
Lewis was addressed as "Citizen", but it's O'Bvious he was appearing as Jerry Lewis.

- "Las Vegas Serenade: Part 2" (1987)
The urn with Aunt Billie's ashes has been presented to Jerry Lewis as a decoration, and Donald and Lou must retrieve it. Meanwhile, Sam tries stand-up comedy, and Penny and Jim contemplate a Vegas wedding. - The 'Brothers' Wikia

'Good Grief' 
- "The Bear" (1991)
No information... information... information found.

There is a version of Jerry Lewis in the Tooniverse, however he was voiced by David Lander and so is an "As Seen On TV" character rather than an animated member of the League Of Themselves.

So here's to you, Mr. Lewis.  I will admit that I'm not a big fan of your comedy movies, but I was really impressed with your dramatic turn in the Garment District arc on 'Wiseguy' back in the 70s.  At any rate, my position as the Curator for the TVXOHOF doesn't allow me to keep the qualified nominees out.  Otherwise Jack the Ripper, Hitler, Lee Harvey Oswald, Elmo and Donald Trump never would have been allowed through the door.


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