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Legendary comedian Jerry Lewis knew how to laugh and cry

FILE - In this April 12, 2014, file photo, actor and comedian Jerry Lewis poses during an interview at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Lewis, the ...
FILE - In a Oct. 16, 1977 file photo, comedian Jerry Lewis cuts up during a haircut for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis was given a $250,000...

FILE - In this April 12, 2014, file photo, actor and comedian Jerry Lewis poses during an interview at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Lewis, the ...

FILE - In a Oct. 16, 1977 file photo, comedian Jerry Lewis cuts up during a haircut for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis was given a $250,000...

NEW YORK (AP) — Jerry Lewis sometimes didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

"There's nothing more dramatic than the comedy I've done," Lewis, who died Sunday at age 91, told The Associated Press in 2016. "Because the comedy I've done is to get to the audience, get them to feel it, or they won't laugh."

If jokes are the children of pain, then Lewis was a born patriarch. The filmmaker, entertainer and sleepless host of the Muscular Dystrophy telethons was a storm system of rage and ecstasy, Olympian physical talent, artistic aspiration and vintage Vegas schmaltz. The crazed funnyman who would scream like a toddler worked on a Holocaust film called "The Day the Clown Cried" and for his theme song chose the self-mythology of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone."


Updated : 2021-10-16 12:40 GMT+08:00