|In LA in 1950 (WSJ photo)|
He understood kids. On the big screen his character said embarrassing things and acted outrageously goofy. But Jerry did it without malice, and you could tell that he had a good heart. By movie’s end he got the money and the girl, leaving much smarter foes sprawled in defeat.
Our parents and grandparents were adults who won World Wars and were trying to stave off nuclear destruction. Jerry Lewis showed that a silly kid who never grew up could triumph in a very serious world. Thanks, Jerry.
Update: athletic prowess is a characteristic of great physical comedians (Charles Chaplin, Dick Van Dyke). Jerry Lewis was no exception.