Jerry Lewis' Best Solo Comedy Movies that He Didn't Direct

Yahoo Contributor Network

Jerry Lewis started out as part of a comedy team with Dean Martin. He then went on to allegedly invent the video-assist system on his road toward following in the footsteps of the great silent film comedians who directed themselves. What you may not know is that even after Jerry Lewis established himself as an innovative director of comedy films, he often appeared in funny movies directed by others. Here are some of the better comedies in which Jerry Lewis wore only the hat of actor.

Way Way Out

Jerry Lewis plays the first American astronaut to go into space with a wife in "Way Way Out." Interestingly for fans of "The Big Bang Theory" Jerry Lewis' character is not unlike enginee-astronaut Howard Wolowitz and Connie Stevens, who plays his new bride, sounds almost exactly like Wolowitz's wife Bernadette. Coincidence or conspiracy? One of the funniest actors of all time, Dick Shawn, plays a Russian cosmonaut (is there any other kind) who is living in Commie sin with an Anita Ekberg who never looked hotter. Another good reason to catch this Jerry Lewis comedy he didn't self-direct himself in is the catchy theme song written by none other than Jerry's son Gary.

Boeing, Boeing

You may not know this bit of Hollywood trivia: Jerry Lewis was the best man when Tony Curtis married Janet Leigh. Lewis and Curtis were good friends and I suppose that explains the rather coupling of Jerry and Tony in a romantic comedy together. Well, not together. I mean, c'mon, you know. "Boeing, Boeing" is one of those curios of the 1960s in the jet set is really code word for stewardesses (before they were flight attendants) meant you were sexually available just as much as it meant you were capable of bringing passengers hi-balls. "Boeing, Boeing" is that rare Jerry Lewis comedy in which he doesn't play a character anything at all like the Jerry Lewis character you think you know so well. It's weird, all right.

The King of Comedy

Of course, nothing is weirder than Jerry Lewis appearing in a movie directed by Martin Scorsese. Haing S. Ngor won Best Supporting Actor at the 1984 Oscars, but it should have gone to Jerry Lewis. "The King of Comedy" is a comedy, except when Jerry Lewis in on screen. He never gave a more serious performance or a truer performance with the exception of "The Nutty Professor."

For more from Timothy Sexton, Yahoo!'s first Writer of the Year, check out:

Buddy Love: The Most Despicable Character to Ever Appear in a Comedy

View Comments

Recommended for You