SNL: S09E06... HOST: JERRY LEWIS... DATE: NOVEMBER 19, 1983

or...

The King Of Explaining Comedy

Until It Becomes Utterly Boring

When I was a little kid, I found the old black and white Jerry Lewis movies to be the funniest thing in the world. I was also a fan of his Muscular Dystrophy Association marathon because it was a family tradition to watch as much of it as every single Labor Day. And finally, I am also a still a fan of the movie The King Of Comedy which was the movie he was on the show to promote.

With that said, I can't stand the man because he genuinely seems to be an arrogant jerk with definitive rules about comedy. Though I don't mind when funny people share their personal taste, I can't stand when people discuss comedic taste as if they are giving a lecture where they discuss rules that must be followed by all.

Now that I'm older, Jerry Lewis is the king of this type of comedy expert that I despise, so from the get-go, I was never really looking forward to this episode. Then, right out the gate, Jerry's very first line is a dickhead response to Piscopo delivering his line a little early by barely breaking the scene to joke, "Let me ask where I am first," which I openly admit that I might have found funny coming from any other host.

I will also openly admit that other than my own prejudice toward Jerry, this was a perfectly fine show, except for the fact that, of course, Jerry ran long, leading us to never get a second performance from Loverboy.

So, now that I've shared my views on Jerry Lewis, it's time to move on to share what I viewed on the screen as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's episode starts with Jerry Lewis going in for heart surgery and when the anesthetics kick in he envisions "Dean Martin" and "Sammy Davis Jr." as the doctors who are performing the procedure and Jerry is stuck in his whacky voiced character addressing his concerns about the situation. When Jerry comes to and finds the real doctor he's a bit confused as he figures out it was all a dream before he goes on to announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Jerry Lewis then officially opens the show with a monolog about how much he loves hosting the show in his arrogant comedic expert/lecturing tone which is part of what made me not like his later career. Eddie and Piscopo interrupt his long winded routine to declare Jerry the King of Comedy and force him to sit on a throne as they go on to blow smoke up his ass because of his brilliant early career that may be genuine but also highlights the bore that this man has become.
  3. We then went down for some man on the street interviews where New Yorkers were asked, "What famous person do you look like?" which leads to some funny responses.
  4. The Forum was a talk show sketch where Piscopo interviews "random Americans" about where they were the moment that they hear JFK was shot. These uninformed guest totally remember where they were because one guest learned about it 20 years after the fact while in college, one learned just before the show, and the finally learned about the assassination because of the conversation that was actively the matter at hand.
  5. We then cut to a scene where Eddie and Jerry are falling through the sky only Eddie as a parachute instructor is the only one wearing a chute and not because they are jumping in tandem. Eddie offers a refund and solutions during the fall but it does nothing to calm Jerry's nerves. Eddie eventually offers to share the chute only Jerry takes the entire thing for himself. 
  6. Cornet was a fake TV ad for toilet paper which was a lazy parody the old, "Extra value is what you get when you buy Coronet," ads because it mainly just makes a few jokes about the real life spokeswoman being parodied. 
  7. We then got a parody of Entertainment Tonight where they made fun of pop culture events from the day including a light-hearted behind the scenes interview during the taping of an end of the world mini-series, an interview with Jerry about his fame in France where he's not allowed to speak because of the verbose interviewer, annoying transitional content, an interview with "Suzanne Sommers about avoiding dumb blond roles, and an interview with some guy who dissects dead celebrities on stage.
  8. Fascinating People And Their Friends was an interview show where Sweetchuck interviews Jerry who plays one of the original members of the American Jewish Football League where in the world of the sketch a bunch of doctors and lawyers participate in a low impact version of the sport but it all turns out to be a prank as it's reveals that Jews don't play football at all.
  9. We then went to a Thanksgiving Dinner where Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns from college for her first Thanksgiving since moving away. While in college, Julia has turned into a liberal vegetarian which fills the mother with guilt and the father with rage which creates a rollercoaster of a conversation.
  10. Larry's Corner returns for another segment where this time, a safe falls on Larry's guest before he even starts to answer the first question which leads Larry to quickly wrap up the show by throwing to commercial right away.
  11. Loverboy then took to the stage to perform Working For The Weekend.
  12. Jerry Lewis then got a tour of the recording studio that translates every Jerry Lewis movie for the French movie market and is horrified to witness the over-dubbing of The King Of Comedy because the translator sticks to Jerry's wacky character voice that made him so famous instead of the serious voice required for the role.
  13. Once again, Brad Hall gave us the news. This week, Brad and Hall have a debate over the importance of the upcoming TV special The Day After which was about life after a nuclear war and Belushi is more interested in the upcoming game over this sweeps week stunt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus got a segment where she complains about her segment getting cut short only to be cut off after speaking paragraph's worth of words, Mary Gross's agro character gripes about the upcoming holiday traditions, and Piscopo gives us the sports where he interviews "Jim Brown" about his desire to return to the NFL at the age of 47 years-old.
  14. Piscopo then takes to the stage doing a Jerry impersonation until the real Jerry joins him on stage to confront him and gives him a few tips on how to do it right. Eddie then joins the two as a third Jerry and the three announce next week's host as they all Jerry Lewis it up.
  15. Robin Duke then takes to the stage as if she were an open mic night announcer who brings "Gusty" to the stage. Gusty is actually Belushi who performs a hippy song for the whales where he squeals and clicks to very little applause. 
  16. Finally, Jerry Lewis announced that the show ran long leading to no second Loverboy song, then closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said, despite my disinterest in Jerry Lewis this was still a pretty good showing with these as my favorite moments. First, I loved The Forum sketch where guests were asked where they were when they heard the news of the JFK assassination only to find out that most of them just heard of the incident that day because it's just a hilarious concept especially during this window of time where the young adults would have been alive during the shooting. Next, I really liked the Thanksgiving sketch because it's another one of those that could be made in modern times with very minimal changes. Finally, I was a fan of the parachute sketch, mainly just because it looked so silly over being a fan of the joke.  

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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.