By Michael Gioia
08 Feb 2013
Taped in the Showroom at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in November 2012, the evening also includes video montages from Lewis' television and film appearances, including rare, never-before-seen clips from his personal and private vaults.
Scheduled as a tribute to his 87th birthday in March, An Evening With Jerry Lewis: Live From Las Vegas is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning March 2 (check local listings).
During the course of the hour, according to PBS, "Lewis tells jokes and reminisces about his life from his earliest days working with his father, a vaudeville entertainer who taught him song, dance and pantomime skills, to his first solo gig 'Record Act,' in which he exaggeratedly mimed the lyrics to songs on a phonograph."
Highlights include never-before-seen clips from his movies including "Ladies Man" and "The Nutty Professor" as well as Lewis' other solo projects and home movies, followed by a special montage with Lewis providing narration for "bloopers and out-takes" from some of his most famous movies, several with Dean Martin. The evening finishes with a Q&A session between Lewis and the audience.
Lewis appeared on Broadway, on tour and in the U.K. in Damn Yankees in 1995 and Jerry Lewis at The Palace in 1953.
His film credits as performer, director, writer, producer, and sometimes as all four, include "The Bell Boy," "The Ladies Man," "It's Only Money," "The Delicate Delinquent," Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy" and many more. Lewis is also an acclaimed author having written three best sellers: "The Total Filmmaker," a guide for directors; and the memoirs "Jerry Lewis: In Person" and "Dean & Me: A Love Story." His humanitarian efforts for The Muscular Dystrophy Association for over half a century have won him countless accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and his annual Telethons have grossed over $2 billion. Lewis received an Oscar in 2009 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, awarded by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Lewis recently directed the Nashville world premiere of The Nutty Professor, the new Rupert Holmes-Marvin Hamlisch musical based on the 1963 Lewis film comedy.