Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Classic Jerry - Some GREAT moments from a promising show!
Matthew J. Gallagher | Wilton, Connecticut United States | 04/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 13 week series on ABC evolved from Jerry's surprisingly popular Tonight Show guest gig earlier that year. He was a given a huge contract, a theatre in his name, and 2 hours of primetime on Saturday evenings - and then, due to low ratings, was abruptly cancelled. Too bad! This particular show, in late 1963, just after the murder of President Kennedy, features the great Sam Cooke in two superb performances, a great segment with the then Cassius Clay, prior to his defeat of Sonny Liston, and a knock-out rendition of "Birth of the Blues" by Jerry that stops the show. The good and bad Jerry are all here - he was justifiably upset at ABC for cancelling his show and his venom towards them is undisguised. However, in his good to great moments, with Clay, his song, some of the interviews, you could see where this could have been a terrific show if handled the right way. Two hours was too much. The show should also have been in color, if that was possible back in that day, and probably should have been given a better time slot. Jerry is a genius, but often could be his own worst enemy. His partnership with Dean Marin remains one of the best of all-time and, when he's entertaining at his best, he's better than ANYONE currently hosting late night TV. This segment of this brief series shows all the promise - and problems - of what could have been a really terrific, classic show if it had been given more time and care. Jerry's band is first-class. His clowning is great. The guest stars are mostly all terrific - although the monkey act goes on too long -and it's better than anything I've seen from the likes of Jimmy Fallon or even Conan O'Brien or others. Jerry's is a deep talent - and when he's at his best, he's top of the heap. ABC really blew it. This is a MUST for all Lewis fans - much more entertaining, and, at times, moving (Jerry talking about sharing baseball with his young sons), than you could imagine. A five star treat! Grab it!"
Example of rare two-hour variety series
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WIENERWORLD's "Nostalgia Collection" consists primarily of DVD double features of public domain material. Their sets include Gene Autry, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, Bob Hope, Judy Garland and Bing Crosby.
There were three versions of the Jerry Lewis Show. His second outing was a live 2-hour variety series that aired on ABC-TV. Its "television graveyard" timeslot (Saturday, 9:30-11:30 PM) undoubtedly contributed to the program's demise. Despite the comic's 5-year, $35 million contract and having purchased and renamed L.A.'s El Capitan Theater as The Jerry Lewis Theater, the network ditched Jerry's show after only 13 weeks.
Presented here is episode #11, from December 7th, '63. It features Top 40 singer Sam Cooke, novelty act Señor Wencas and his hand puppets, comedian Phil Foster, the Marquis Chimps (sitcom stars of "The Hathaways"), colatura soprano Patrice Munsel and heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay (who would triumph over Sonny Liston on 2/25/64).
Lewis sings three numbers and is typically Jerry. Wences is allowed to stretch, unlike on the Sullivan show, where his appearances were confined to a few minutes. Clay displays all the arrogance and flash of the later Muhammad Ali. The chimps were naturally somewhat unpredictable on live TV. Munsel tones it down for a pop song while Foster livens things up.
Minus commercials, this program runs 1 hour, 43 minutes.
[6:05] Jerry Lewis Intro: "Red Red Robin"
[3:39] Phil Foster: Surprise Visit
[3:13] Sam Cooke: "Twistin' the Night Away"
[3:10] Sam Cooke: "The Riddle Song (I Gave My Love a Cherry)"
[11:07] Phil and Jerry (comedy)
[5:07] Phil Foster & the Chimpanzee
[8:39] Marquis Chimps
[4:44] Jerry Jokes About Children
[4:59] Patrice Munsel: "I Love You, Porgy"
[3:45] Patrice Munsel: "That Old Black Magic"
[6:27] Patrice Interview
[15:55] Cassius Clay Interview
[3:54] Cassius Clay: Poetry
[9:59] Señor Wences
[7:44] Jerry: "Birth of the Blues"
[3:37] Jerry: "Nessun Dorme""
Historical Reference Only
frankebe | redwood city, ca United States | 11/04/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, what a boring, embarrassing show. It's kinescope, even though it's 1963; it's pretty good kinescope, but it's still fuzzy, which wasn't so much of a problem with the old Colgate comedies because the performances are so good that you forget how bad the picture is. But here, Jerry sings and talks like he's trying to be cool, which has a hollow ring to it. His timing is horrific. His jokes are not funny. The whole production looks cavernous and sounds like it: there is a big, empty quality to it. Senor Wences gets an extended routine, but it is not nearly as action-filled and entertaining as his live performances were, or his shorter stints on other TV shows. Also, the top of his head is cut off in this particular framing. The "Synergy Entertainment" logo is constantly at the bottom-right of the picture, which I find annoying.
If I had seen this ahead of time, I would not have purchased it. I do not recommend it."
Rare gem of a 60's variety show.
PATRICK J.POWERS | Duncombe,IA | 08/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always admired Jerry Lewis as a top movie comedian and his devotion to MDA. This 103 minute DVD shows a rare piece of Jerry Lewis. His short lived 1963 tv series on ABC. I remember reading about this series. To me I thought this show had its entertainin moments with the late Sam Cooke, Senor Wences and the Greatest, Muhammad Ali (of course,known as Cassius Clay in this 1963 airing). Phil Foster was okay before his big break on Laverne and Shriley some 13 years later. Jerry does a great job with The Birth of the Blues. I am looking forward to another collection of Jerry Lewis tv shows on DVD in October. This DVD is not bad! Enjoy it if you like Jerry Lewis!"