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Laughter Through Tears (Mr. Jerry Lewis) Profile September 5, 2015

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Laughter Through Tears

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By: Ms. Bobbie Jones

 

Once upon a time in our Television watching history we as a collective group could always tell when Summer was finally on its way out and Fall and all “the comes along with” was on its way in.

However, before lunch boxes would be packed and school books replaced summer shorts there was an annual ritual that graced our television screens and for many of us the start of fall would have not been LTTJL 13official minus its appearance.

I am most certainly talking about the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. (MDA) – The Muscular Dystrophy Association and Mr. Jerry Lewis had a tight bond and performed a well-orchestrated dance for nearly half a century and the American public loved it.

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My dear readers this post is devoted to the man who brought me much joy as he did the world and I wanted to share what I know about his life with you.  Take this time to reflect and remember the good times and laughs brought to you by Mr. Jerry Lewis.

Watch Video Below

 

He was born Joseph Levitch on March 16, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey into a show biz family.  Now if you are a huge Jerry Lewis fan you know the young Lewis started his lustrous career at the age of five singing “Brother Can you spare a Dime” during the years of the Great Depression.  Lewis along with many other young Jewish comedians honed their skills LTT JL1in a place that doubled as their second home – Borscht Belt in the Catskill Mountains.  At the age of 15 Lewis dropped out of high school to pursue his career as a performer full time.  And although, he did not have immediate success and would have to supplement his income with gigs as a bellhop, waiter and soda jerk and many tears and depressed moments would  follow but the dark moments would soon all be long forgotten.

At the age of 19 the young Lewis was an emerging comedian and a handsome young man.  Although he did not know it yet but he was about to run smack dab into his destiny and there would be no turning back.   In 1945 there was a handsome debonair young crooner about town by theLTT JL DM name of Dean Martin and a chance meeting of the two of Lewis and Martin would change the course of history.  A year later at the popular 500 club Martin joined Lewis on stage and one of the funniest and beloved partnerships was formed and forever cemented in history.

 

LTT JL11As a young person I remember my childhood being lit up by watching these two greats perform and although I came along generations later – old black and white films painted with the names of Martin and Lewis would keep me entertained for hours.  Needless to say both men were adorable to me but as many young girls who saw Lewis a generation before – I fell for his boyish good looks, “what can I say?”

Not only was Lewis adorable he was hilarious – I could watch him for hours and Dean wasn’t too bad himself.  Martin and Lewis and their unbelievable career took them from the stage to the big screen and back again and spanned a decade.  But sadness for the two would strike when the two of them called it quits in 1956 to the shock and LTT JL10horror of all their fans around the world.

History would later prove that no matter how the split between the two went down these two men, Martin and Lewis loved each other.  One of the greatest love affairs to grace stage and screen took place between these two men and the American public got to enjoy their glorious and spectacular ride.  They loved and cared for each other and America loved them both in return and we all benefited from a beautiful friendship that played out right in front of us.

Going Solo

LTT JL3After the split Lewis was not only sad and heartbroken but terrified to go it alone.  But despite his fears Jerry Lewis would go on to remain one of America’s greatest comedy draws at the box office.  He would continue to writeLTT JL BB C, produce and direct his films such as the Bellboy.  Jerry Lewis was an all-around talent and a driving force in the industry.  Even with all that Lewis had on his plate he still found time to give to what I as a child remember as his most touching calling.

 

MDA

Jerry Lewis had another passion besides his film and performing endeavors and that passion was seeing to it that the young people stricken with the debilitating condition known as Muscular Dystrophy would never walk alone.

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A Bobbiegirl Ad

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LTT JL 12Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin put on one of the early Muscular Dystrophy Telethon back in 1956 live from Carnegie Hall and after that Lewis was named the Organization’s National chairman.  Lewis would hold that position for 55 years.

In 1966 the telethon became an annual weekend long Labor Day event starting on Sunday evening and ending Monday (Labor Day) afternoon.  LTT JL CF2010

saw the last year that Mr. Lewis would host the telethon but in the hearts of many he will always be the face of love, care and action when it comes to thinking about others.  Jerry made me laugh and he made me cry and mostly at the same time and in my mine Labor Day will never be the same without him.

Feel free to checkout some of his movies…go ahead I dare you to laugh – Jerry would have wanted it.  Cinderfella will be my movie of choice this weekend.

Photos provided by: Google Images

Videos provided by: You Tube

A Bobbiegirl Ad provided by: Bobbiegirl Productions

Copyright © Ms. Bobbie Jones –September 5, 2015

All Rights Reserved

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