This Labor Day, September 5th, the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon will be aired. But unlike every previous telethon for M.D. since 1966 (that's the past 45 years!) one important ingredient will be missing this year. Jerry Lewis!!!
What, no Jerry Lewis on the M.D. Telethon? Kind of like a beach with no bikinis, a cowboy movie with no guns, or, to use a more precise analogy: Christmas without Santa Claus. For a majority of Americans, the M.D. Telethon was always "The Jerry Lewis Telethon."
After earning over $2 billion dollars for his pet cause (and Jerry's Kids), Mr. Lewis was recently very unceremoniously dumped by the M.D. Board of Directors. At the ripe old age of 85, Jerry Lewis, humanitarian and comedy legend, is still alive and well (okay, he admittedly needs to take a couple of dozen pills every day to keep rolling). Let's take a look at eleven facts you may not have known about the only and only Mr. Jerry Lewis, "The King of Comedy."
1. He's wrong about his show business debut (at least the date). Jerry has always claimed he made his show biz debut at the age of 5, singing "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" Jerry's story is that he sang the song before a crowd and accidentally kicked out a light and got his first laugh. Probably true enough, but he couldn't have been 5, as the song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" wasn't written until 1932, which would have made little Jerry six. A minor point? True, but one wonders why Jerry has never corrected the "date confusion" in all these years.
3. He never wears the same socks twice. Jerry never forgot his early years, his poverty, and the holes in his socks. Thumbing his nose at the past, Jerry will never wear the same pair of socks more than once. He just wears a pair and throws it out.
4. He sometimes carries his Oscar around. In 2009, Jerry was awarded a "Lifetime Achievement Academy Award" (deservedly so!) for his years of accomplishment. Unlike most other Oscar winners, Jerry sometimes carries his Academy Award around with him. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, Jerry pulled it out of a duffel bag at a press conference.
5. He edits other people's films. A devoted movie fan, Jerry often screens films at his home. When a part of a film bothers or irritates him, Jerry simply takes the film and cuts out the offending scene on his own editing machine.
6. He always called his partner Dean Martin "Paul." Jerry and his partner Dean Martin were the hottest act in show business for the ten-year partnership (1946-1956). For some reason, Jerry never called Dean "Dean," he always used Martin's middle name "Paul" instead.
7. Family Jewels remake with John Travolta? Jerry recently met with John Travolta, where the two discussed Travolta starring in a remake of Jerry's 1965 film The Family Jewels, in which Jerry played seven different roles. John wants to star in the film with his daughter, Ella Bleu.
8. He turned down Some Like It Hot. Jerry was offered the Jack Lemmon role by director Billy Wilder in the 1959 classic comedy Some Like It Hot, but turned it down. Every time Jerry would run into Billy Wilder, Wilder would say, "Schmuck!" Jack Lemmon would send Jerry Flowers every year.