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Jerry Lewis speaks

Posted at 11:35 AM on October 26, 2005 by Euan Kerr

It's hard to be on the fence about Jerry Lewis. You either love him or hate him. (Unless you fall on the French side of the equation where love seems to be the only possibility.)

It was fascinating to hear him speak last night on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross about his career with Dean Martin. He says his new book is not penance for the way their highly successful collaboration fell apart in acrimony, but an attempt to focus Martin's talents, as a singer and a comedian, to get him the acclaim he deserves.

When asked to provide a clip of their film work together which demonstrated those talents, Lewis chose a snippet from "The Stooge" where Martin in a drunken rage chastises an infantile Lewis. It wasn't very funny, and Lewis, who was always the business brains behind the duo, said it probably presaged what happened to them in reality a few years after they made the film.

It struck me as a strange choice.

Did anyone else hear it? What did you think? (You can find the show here)

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