By the early 1970s, Jerry Lewis was a has-been. His finer days, when he was starring in The Nutty Professor and The Patsy and selling out clubs with his comedy partner Dean Martin, were out of sight in the rear-view mirror. These days, with the exception of 1983′s The King of Comedy, his biggest claim to fame is, “Guy who’s popular in France” or possibly “Guy who sounds like Dr. Frink from The Simpsons” or maybe simply “Asshole.”
There’s one movie of Lewis’ from 1972, however, that film fans have been fascinated by since the day it was announced — and no one’s ever seen it. It’s called The Day the Clown Cried, and it makes Life Is Beautiful look like Flubber by comparison. According to Entertainment Weekly:
The Day the Clown Cried was a 1972 Holocaust drama directed and starring Jerry Lewis that was famously decried for its bad taste before ever being released. Lewis then buried the film, denouncing it as “bad” and made him feel “embarrassed.”
The script and a few stills are all that survive for public consumption — until now, when YouTube user unclesporkums found this 7-minute clip of behind-the-scenes footage and shared it online yesterday. (Via)
Classic unclesporkums move. Anyway, when asked about the movie earlier this year, Lewis cried, “It was all bad, and it was bad because I lost the magic. You will never see it. No one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work.” Well, now we’ve seen it, and it’s all bad. The lesson here: clowns are terrible.
Also, f*ck you, Jerry Lewis.