Jerry Lewis, Artifice, and Regression

By  · Published on October 10th, 2017

The late comedian reveled in repetition.

Jerry Lewis was an early pioneer of video playback, watching himself scene after scene in films which he both directed and starred. This was indicative of a certain perfectionism that comedians tend to have towards their delivery, timing, and cadence. Looking for the best way to sell a joke is the basis of a comedy act.

Lewis took this philosophy and applied it to filmmaking. Looping, repeating, perfecting. Video playback was just as effective for making movies as callbacks were to comedy.

Editor Johannes Binotto explores Lewis’s breaching of the fourth wall specifically through his industrial details. He loves pointing out the way movies work, the way comedy works, and somehow none of that stops his humor from landing.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).