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Jerry Lewis Live Review – A Living Legend with Sad Undertones

By Ellen Eichelbaum

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I saw Jerry Lewis at NYCB Theatre on April 6, 2013. I’ve loved him throughout my life, always watching his movies, the telethon, and still adore his humor. But, I was extremely disappointed in this show. And, it pains me to say this.

Understanding Mr. Lewis is 87 and cannot sing as he used to, it would have been nice if he had made an attempt to sing anything rather than have his songs played via film clips or cd prior to his coming on stage. Audiences are very forgiving with aging entertainers and most of this audience was older themselves.

The first quarter of the show was wonderful; Mr. Lewis joked, forgot some punch lines, but who really cared? He did it with class.  He showed a wonderful video of three generations of Lewis boys –  his dad, his son, and him, singing the same song with many years in between.  He looked great and I was looking forward to more, especially since he paid tribute to Henny Youngman who was a great one-line comedian. 

After an abundance of film clips, which I have seen many, many times before, he took
Q&A from the audience. It was an HOUR of nasty responses as people kept asking for his autograph and wanted to give him gifts.  There was a very uncomfortable portion of the Q&A where you felt badly for the audience asking questions.  Mr. Lewis was short-tempered and mildly patronizing as he told the audience, he ‘appreciated that everyone loved him but could they ‘get to the point.’ 


Many people left as the Q&A became underwhelming and many of us talked about it as we exited the theatre. The ending should have been the beginning. Nothing beats a great ending and his, unfortunately, was short-lived.


I love nostalgia and could have spent the entire night just remembering when….




Published on Apr 19, 2013

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