9 Decades of laughs. How is it even possible?
Jerry Lewis’ passing this weekend left me reeling and unable to process the influence this man made on my career.
Jerry is the reason I, as a physical, visual act, have a career. Without him, my kind of comedy never becomes cool, guys from Red Skelton & Jonathan Winters, to Jim Carrey and Robin Williams, wouldn’t have made sense to us. Because we had Jerry it did.
In 2003 my wife sent in a long shot submission for my appearance on the MDA Telethon. It was in the beginning stages of my career and we were shooting to land a 1 minute spot on the amateur part of the show. Once MDA saw my video they contacted us back and suggested I was a Star (what?!) and would be a Headliner on their show and get a whole 5 minutes in front of 20 Million viewers!
This was one of the biggest things to happen in my career. And even though I have not appeared on national network television since (passed on a few good opportunities), this was a feather in my cap unlike any other.
They flew my wife and I to Hollywood, we stayed at the famous Beverly Hilton, treated to a limo and poolside drinks (Shirley Temple!), and my in-laws all of a sudden said I had “made it”.
The MDA experience was legendary for me, and for anyone who’s ever been a part of it. Jerry Lewis did more good in Muscular Dystrophy awareness and caring for others than even his comedy career, which is saying something, as he was one of the biggest movie stars of all-time.
His promise was to always bring joy, light, and do whatever it took to get you to smile, even if that meant falling on the floor 19 times. His influence shines bright.
God bless you, Jerry. Although we never met, you meant the world to me.
Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration. Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys. He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite. jasonhewlett.com
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