On the occasion of his 86th birthday last Friday night, Jerry Lewis was in his element: water. He was drooling it onto his feet, wrapping his lips around the rim of a glass, and drinking from a pitcher. Abetted by his on-stage interviewer, comedian and TV cop Richard Belzer, the legendary nightclub performer, jack-of-all-film-trades, and philanthropic veteran of the Muscular Dystrophy Association met the expectations of fans who packed 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Auditorium on Manhattan’s Upper East Side by cutting loose with the brand of shameless clowning that has kept him rich and famous since the Truman Administration. Casually crossing his legs and sending a shoe flying into the first row, musically cutting off a Belzer follow-up question with “Was I throoooough?”, and fixing the perpetrator of a solitary laugh with a cartoonish, sneering turn of the head that dates back to his white-hot dual act with Dean Martin, Lewis was primed to give his audience a good time, and what was billed as a tribute by the fraternal comedians’ group The Friars Club morphed into a two-hour reciprocal love-in between childlike idol and uncritical idolators. “I’m nine, and I’ve always been nine,” Lewis self-diagnosed during a breather from his antic agenda. “The beauty of nine is that it’s not complicated.”
Tomorrow at the 92nd Street Y, Elaine May will make a rare appearance at a screening of the director’s cut of Ishtar, curated by Miriam Bale. For for information, including ticketing, click here.
Salon’s Joan Walsh sees racism in Newt Gingrich calling Barack Obama “the food stamp president.”
Filmmaker Ira Sachs recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise the last chuck of funds needed to get his next film, Keep the Lights On, into production. Keep really good queer cinema alive and donate here.
Check out this cool video from our friend Sergio LoDolce:
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