Here’s a funny little reel of outtakes from ‘The Patsy’, a 1964 Jerry Lewis vehicle starring and directed by Buddy Love–er, Jerry. This film, along with ‘The Bellboy’, ‘The Errand Boy’ and ‘The Ladies Man’ mark for me the peak of Jerry’s solo career as a comic and director. After this it’s time for ‘Boeing Boeing’, ‘The Big Mouth’ and worse. These clips show Everett Sloan and Peter Lorre in each of their final film appearances–Lorre looks like a person viewed in the squashed section of a fun house mirror. Playing a member of a firing squad, he has trouble firing his gun in sync with the others and blows two takes. Or was it a deliberate hoax, a Jerry secret gag to designed to humiliate the aging and not at all well actor/legend? As you’ll see, many of these are not actual flubs but simply on-set gags made to surprise the crew and, one may suppose, loosen up the atmosphere on the set which despite the laughter found on this reel wasn’t always fun. Lewis, as we now know, was a sexual predator who punished the young women he hired who didn’t submit to his advances by not only refusing to speak to them but making the rest of the cast and crew refrain from speaking with them as well. A dreadful punishment, don’t you think? Total isolation from a group of people who were clearly terrified of their wildly successful and emotionally sadistic leader and would do anything he said in order to stay in the good graces of ‘His Bastard Joey Levitch’. Do you see what happens when I write about Jerry? It doesn’t matter how good a humor I am in at the outset, how pleasant and optimistic my intentions are. Somehow I wind up furious with him as always, despising the dark side of Jerry and sorry that I ever spend anytime even thinking about him…until I watch the reel and love him all over again. It’s an exhausting relationship that Jerry and I have had over the years, probably not unlike his relationships with his sons. Speaking of which, the kid at the end of the reel doing the fun Jerry impression is his oldest son Gary Lewis, here seen at age fifteen just before he became a rock-and-roll star with his group Gary Lewis and the Playboys.


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