Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Lewis was a prominent slapstick comedian for much of the 1950s and
1960s. Lewis’ rise to fame began when he partnered with singer Dean Martin,
performing a routine that relied on their interactions instead of the planned
skits that other comedy teams utilized. Their popularity grew throughout the
club circuit, leading to their 1948 appearance
on Toast of the Town (later known as The Ed Sullivan Show). The
following year, they joined Paramount Pictures and made their
first film: My Friend Irma.
A nutty professor.
By 1950, Martin and
Lewis were the stars of their own films and made 14 together at Paramount.
Lewis’ antics began to outshine Martin, diminishing his importance in projects
and the media. The pair eventually split in 1956 and both went on to have
noteworthy solo careers. Lewis attempted to branch out into musical performing
and television, hosting two different variety shows called The Jerry Lewis Show. However, as Lewis aged his antics no
longer had the same flare they once did. His popularity began to wane and
Paramount’s new executives saw no reason to renew his lucrative contract with
them. All the while, Lewis served as chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and hosted
their annual fundraising telethon until his
removal in 2011 (the telethon itself was
ended in 2015).
The many faces of Jerry Lewis.
Lewis decided to make
a return to television at the end of the 60s, but this time on Saturday
mornings. He approached Filmation with the
idea for an animated series. It would center around the various characters and
personas he created in his films; notably 1965’s The Family Jewelswhere he played 6 different characters
(seven, if you count the identity one of them adopted). The series would focus
around Jerry Lewis (David Lander), the hapless employee of the Odd Job
Employment Agency under his obnoxious boss Mr. Blunderbuss (Howard Morris, who
played Lewis’ father in The Nutty
Professor). Lewis would be assigned a job and find a way to
accidentally turn it into a complete shamble. The series also featured Lewis’
sister Geraldine, his girlfriend Rhonda (both Jane Webb), and Geraldine’s pet
frog Spot. Morris would also play all of the other Lewis personas that popped
up in the episodes.
Animation cell showing Jerry in another fine mess.
Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down was a play on the
catchphrase from the gameshow To Tell The Truth. The
game was centered around a panel of contestants who had to identify the real
person featured from a choice of three people via a series of questions. Once
they voted in their selection, the host would ask “Would the real [name] please
stand up?” to reveal the correct answer.
Will the Real Jerry Lewis debuted on ABC (the home of his failed first variety
show) on September 12, 1970, with music composed by father/son team Ray
Ellis (as Yvette Blais and Jeff Michael). Lewis, along with
developing the show, made uncredited contributions to the scripts written by Jack Mendelsohn,
Jim Mulligan, Jim Ryan, Bill Danch, Bob Ogle, Chuck Menville and Len Janson. However, he declined
to voice any of the characters, feeling imitators did his younger voice better
than he could anymore. Like other Filmation comedies, it contained a laugh
track and was one of the first to feature Filmation’s rotatingLou
Scheimer/Norm Prescott credit. It
was also the first to feature director Hal Sutherland’s credit written
in cursive. Like most other Filmation shows, the series only ran a
single season of 18 episodes; however, ABC kept it on its schedule through
1972, moving it to Sunday mornings.
“Computer Suitor” (9/12/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Crash Course” (9/19/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“2 ½ Rind Circus” (9/26/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Good Luck Charm” (10/3/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Out to Launch” (10/10/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Watch of the Rhino” (10/17/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“To Beep or Not to Beep” (10/24/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“How Green Was my Valet” (10/31/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Movie Madness” (11/7/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Rainmaker” (11/14/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Jerry Goes Ape” (11/21/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Haunted House Guest” (11/28/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Penthouse” (12/5/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Shipboard Romance” (12/12/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Hokus Pokus” (12/19/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE
“Double Trouble” (12/26/70) – NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE