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Elliot Norton Reviews; Jerry Lewis

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Elliot Norton Reviews
Jerry Lewis
Series Description

Boston theatre critic Elliot Norton interviews prominent actors, directors and producers on their craft. (Aired from October, 1958 to 1982. Winner of both Peabody and Tony Awards.) Series release date: 1958

Program Description

Elliot Norton interviews movie director, producer, and comic, Jerry Lewis, about his career. Lewis talks about his first experience entertaining an audience, when he wrote, directed, and starred in elementary school plays and variety shows, which he continued to put on until high school. In high school, he started writing shows for other comics, but when they did not perform them the way he envisioned, he began performing them himself. He talks about the process of writing these early acts, which included taking what he sees in the world and turning into humorous performances. He started off by writing about the authorities (teachers and principals), which he saw as a “great source of finding comic routines.” He says that this holds true today, when any bureaucracy, authority, or owner is a great source of humor.

About this topic, Lewis said “You’re never ever going to look to characterize or write humor on those that are moving in the same norm as you are. You always look into the fantasy world, the world that you are not about to ever presume you’re going to be in and write humor on them, which is mother, father, monitor, teacher, bank president, president, anyone – the untouchable.” He says that this is often an unconscious choice and he does not realize he is writing about a personal memory until it is already written.

Director: Russell Tillman



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Talk Show
Performing Arts
Chicago: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Jerry Lewis,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 18, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7E2B266F97D34E8193223E63222CEC5C.
MLA: “Elliot Norton Reviews; Jerry Lewis.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 18, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7E2B266F97D34E8193223E63222CEC5C>.
APA: Elliot Norton Reviews; Jerry Lewis. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7E2B266F97D34E8193223E63222CEC5C
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