Page 1

1963_10_12--083_SP Search for Jerry Lewis

meet you. Say hello to the five and the bump. Love, Jerry." The only people who do leave him— hip singers excepted—are his secretaries, who have an annoying female habit of getting married. Jerry has running gags he plays on everyone who is close to him. His favorite gag with each of his last few sec- retaries has been to sneak up while the secretary is on the phone and Scotch-tape her to the desk—which is either rampant symbolism or an ungentle hint. And he holds onto the events of his life with the same iron grip with which he holds onto his people. He has built a $500,000 sound studio in his home, a minor extravagance which allows him, among other things, to tape most of his newspaper and magazine interviews and keep a master tape for himself. Every per- formance he has ever given has also been recorded and filed away, complete with the date, the place, his salary, the cast and his own rating of the show. He now has three rooms full of tapes, all neatly catalogued and all virtually ignored. But it goes well beyond that. The principal rooms of his house are bugged, an idiosyncrasy which is explained away as just another indication of his tremendous tcrest in electronics. It is rumored that 11.s studio ofl:ce is bugged too. 1 here is not the slightest doubt in anybody's mind that someday Lewis will end up a ning his own studio. He has already bid on the old Hal Roach studio, with the intention of making not only his own pictures but other films as well. He has moved into the production end of the business because, as successful as he is, he still feels the need of protecting himself against that shattering day when his fans desert him. "I can't sit around and wait for the public to tell me they're tired of me " says Lewis. "I'm now ready for them to tell me any time they want." He has protected himself against the studio heads at his rear, and he has protected himself against the fans out in front. Around him, like a wall, stands a crew he has won over "through nothing but cultivation." His business life in Sherwood Forest might be called an armed citadel, except that is what Jerry already calls his home—"The Citadel." The only trouble is that when you need that much protection, there is no protection anywhere. And nobody knows that better than Jerry. "I'll spend money on anything," he says gloomily, "because I know I can't buy what I really want." And so with all his maneuverings, there is nothing to protect him, in the end, except his own sheet of ice. Jerry will never retire as a comedian, of course. He will go on performing as long as audiences are around to applaud. And when Gabriel finally blows his golden trumpet to welcome him home, Jerry will whip out that toy trumpet and let loose a blast that will drown Gabriel out. The music won't be as good, but it will be at least five times louder, and it will let everybody know that Jerry Lewis is waiting in the wings. And if the choir will be quiet for just a moment we are sure he can be persuaded to deliver his wellknown rendition of Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody. Because the only reward that Jerry Lewis ever really wants is a full house and a great big hand. THE END Lewis poses with mannequin on department-store set of "Who's Minding the Store?" At the start of a Lewis movie, all the a on the set receive flowers and all the men get a bottle of liquor. Anybody who has a birthday automatically is entitled to a party. 87


1963_10_12--083_SP Search for Jerry Lewis
To see the actual publication please follow the link above