JERRY LEWIS–GREAT DANCER?

My longtime love/hate affair with Jerry Lewis has entered a new phase; the one in which I’m discovering talents of his that were–ready for this?–subtle and skillful. These are not words often associated with Joey Levitch but check out his dancing in the above clip from ‘Rock-A-Bye Baby’, a 1958 comedy written and directed by Frank Tashlin that’s sort-of based on Preston Sturges classic ‘The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek’. In this little routine he’s playing the part of someone who can’t sing, dance or play guitar. Aside from the singing and guitar playing (neither of which he could do) the bad dancing is actually a subtle trick; this is the dancing of a really good dancer pretending to be a bad dancer. (Christopher Walken does the same thing when he mock-dances–you can see the accomplished gypsy chorus boy he once really was in his fake ‘bad dancing’). I must have seen ‘Rock A Bye Baby’ at some point but have no real memory of it. The little clip, as well as the title sequence, make me curious to see more…

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