Monday, February 23, 2009
"What'll You Have, Hmmmmm?"
To know me is to know that I have an unhealthy appreciation--some would say obsession--with Jerry Lewis. He's the comedian I connected with when I was a kid and for whatever reason, his comedy has never lost its effect on me. Yes, I know he can be a jerk, but one needs to make exceptions for genius (yes, genius...try to image the direction mid-20th century comedy might have taken without the influence of Martin & Lewis and Jerry on his own). The Nutty Professor would be legacy enough for any comedian without even mentioning that he invented the video assistant system for motion picture directors (that's the system that makes a videotape of the scene shot by the film camera so a director can immediately see the results; Jerry came up with it so he could direct himself) but, it's not my job to make excuses for him.
Apparently Hollywood has decided to stop making excuses for him, too and, at last, the 83-year old Jerry received his long overdue Oscar, this in the form of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his more than 50 years work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, for which he has helped raised over $2 billion since 1966.