Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis features the entertainer and famed admirers -- Seinfeld, Spielberg, Tarantino and more
The death of Jerry Lewis at age 91 has prompted an outpouring of appreciations for the comedian, director and philanthropist. The Los Angeles Times praised him as both entrepreneur and auteur. The New York Times hailed Lewis as "unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century."
In the 2011 documentary Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, he assessed himself in more ambivalent terms -- acknowledging some people called him brilliant, but admitting he didn't always reach that standard in his oeuvre.
"I'm still working on getting into that 'I'm better than it was yesterday' mode," he told filmmaker Gregg Barson.
If you don't 'get' Jerry Lewis you don't really understand comedy, because he is the essence of it.
In honor of Lewis, who died on Sunday of heart failure, the Starz cable channel will rebroadcast Barson's documentary this Saturday (August 26) at 7pm. The film will become available on the Starz app the previous day. It also is available for rent and download via YouTube.
Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Murphy, Carl Reiner and Chevy Chase are among the luminaries who contributed their thoughts on Lewis for the film.
"There is only one Jerry Lewis," says Carol Burnett, another of the stars interviewed for the documentary. "Look at all the laughter he has given to people."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.