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Jerry Lewis

Actor / Comedian

On what the song, "Youll Never Walk Alone" means to him - the song that closes each MDA Telethon

01:43

We were doing a 'Colgate Comedy Hour' every six weeks. We took most of what Martin and Lewis did physically and worked it into the television program. I was so nuts and I was out of the rules and I never hit the marks and I was going into the cameras. I knew the importance of physicality and we were good together on it. We knew when to pull back and when to feed one another and when to get up close. It was incredible.

About this interview

In his nearly two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Jerry Lewis describes his rise to stardom as a performer in the famed Borscht Belt and expresses how his father profoundly shaped his own philosophy on showmanship. Lewis recalls the formation of his legendary partnership with Dean Martin and comments on the remarkable chemistry the two shared. He details his work on early television, including Martin and Lewis' roles as rotating hosts of The Colgate Comedy Hour and discusses the pair's appearances on The Eddie Fisher Show and on Ed Sullivan's very first show. He speaks of his memorable gig as host of the 1959 Academy Awards, a broadcast that ran 20 minutes short; of his television specials and animated series and of his work both in front of and behind the camera in over forty films, including favorites like The Bellboy, Cinderfella, and The Nutty Professor. Lewis also discusses the break-up of his partnership with Dean Martin and tells the touching story of how he came to host his annual telethons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Sam Denoff conducted the interview in San Diego, CA on October 27, 2000.

We were doing a 'Colgate Comedy Hour' every six weeks. We took most of what Martin and Lewis did physically and worked it into the television program. I was so nuts and I was out of the rules and I never hit the marks and I was going into the cameras. I knew the importance of physicality and we were good together on it. We knew when to pull back and when to feed one another and when to get up close. It was incredible.

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for On what the song, "Youll Never Walk Alone" means to him - the song that closes each MDA Telethon

On what the song, "Youll Never Walk Alone" means to him - the song that closes each MDA Telethon

On what the song, "Youll Never Walk Alone" means to him - the song that closes each MDA Telethon01:43
Embedded thumbnail for On his outlook on life

On his outlook on life

On his outlook on life00:15
Embedded thumbnail for On Dean Martin

On Dean Martin

On Dean Martin05:31
Embedded thumbnail for Television Industry ^^ Censorship / Standards & Practices

Jerry Lewis on creative control on The Colgate Comedy Hour

Television Industry ^^ Censorship / Standards & Practices00:57
Embedded thumbnail for Director

Jerry Lewis on directing for film and television

Director11:42
Embedded thumbnail for Awards Shows

Jerry Lewis on hosting the 1959 Academy Awards telecast which ran short

Awards Shows01:57
Embedded thumbnail for On his recognition for the MDA Telethons

On his recognition for the MDA Telethons

On his recognition for the MDA Telethons01:11
Embedded thumbnail for On a special television moment with a woman who suffered from neuro-muscular disease

On a special television moment with a woman who suffered from neuro-muscular disease

On a special television moment with a woman who suffered from neuro-muscular disease01:36
Embedded thumbnail for On advice to newcomers

On advice to newcomers

On advice to newcomers00:33