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The Petal paper. [volume] (Petal, Miss.) 1953-19??, August 27, 1959, Image 4

Image and text provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85044791/1959-08-27/ed-1/seq-4/

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Entertaining Personalities
with
FISHER & ELDRIDGE
My interview with Jerry Lewis
was set for 6:15 a.m., long be
fore most of you even think of
opening one eye. I wasn’t too
wide awake myself, but there
in his executive office, at Para
mount Studios, sat one of the
most famous millionaire come
diennes in the world. Figurative
ly speaking, but not physically,
Jerry Lewis is jumping up and
down, all by himself, in the office
that represents the nerve center
of his success.
Jerry Lewis captain of the in
dustry, glanced around the room,
focal point of the Lewis Empire.
“I’ve wanted this all my life,”
he said. “I can remember as far
back as when I was an usher at
Paramount Theatre, in New York
I wanted to be a movie star. I’ve
always wanted it, and I’m work
ing hard to keep it. It’s an un
believable pace, a breakneck
schedule of movies, television,
night clubs, records, charity
drives, producing.
Jerry leaned back in his swivel
chair, plopped a tennis shoe on
the edge of a king-size desk, and
continued, “it’s a wonderful spot
to be in-at the top, above the
crowd. It’s a nice feeling. And I
defy any man to tell me he’d
* rather be in the 13th line of a
parade than in front with a
fontrm
I get here about 6:15 in the
morning — earlier if I’m produc
ing a picture.
It’s beautifully quiet here those
first couple of hours — after all
we have four separate companies
going right in this office.
I function as a businessman,
not just as people see me in the
movies, and it thrills me to do it,
and to know that all four of my
companies are doing so well. The
companies — Jerry Lewis Pro
ductions, Jerry Lewis Enterprises,
Patti Enterprises and Gar-Ron—
each handles a different phase of
Jerry’s activities. And, in the
end, it is Jerry who makes final
decisions, many of them in the
uncluttered crack-of-dawn hours.
“But that’s not all I do in those
early hours, I sit here and I laugh
to myself, I remind myself that
I have attained what I always
■wanted. I have no shame what
soever about the fact that I m
still excited about this kind of
success.
I’ve seen the champion jump
around the ring after he’s flatten
ed the other fellow, and I’veseen
famous baseball pitchers jump
for joy after a winning pitch, so
if those guys can jump up and
down, I can, too — the skinny
little Jewish busboy from New
Jersey. I can remember 6 a.m.
in those days too, in the Borscht
Belt, the kick on the door and
‘c’mon, get up, you no good —
_ cniiPP7P the orange juice.
“Now I’m doing everything I
love and the figures I get paid
for it is staggering. As I said,
it’s a wonderful spot to be in.
I’ve always wanted it and I’m
working hard to keep it. It s that
simple.”
This is the answer to the pro
pellant behind the Jerry Lewis
rocket, a refreshing “straight
and honest answer.
“I just can’t hate a good look
ing dame, they do me sump n .
And we quote verbatum Victor
Mature’s sentiments in Irwin Al
lens Allied Artists Picture. “The
Big Circus”, soon to be released.
Visiting on the set that repre
sents the winter quarters of “The
*' Biggest Show on Earth, cer
tainly gave us the feeling that
this institution will never die out.
Pretty well covering the 18 acres
were several colorful large size
tents, a few smaller ones, and 36
circus wagons, seven or eight an
imal cages, and two railroad cars.
“What you see here,” explain
ed director Joseph Newman, “is
actually the equipment^ of five
small circuses combined.
They were getting ready *o
shoot a scene in which Vic, who
plays the part of the circus own
er, arrives from New York with
a circus-hating banker, played by
Red Buttons. They discover the
circus has hired a new press
agent from Madison Ave., New
York — red haired beauteous
Rhonda Fleming.
“What, a woman press agent!”
exclaims Vic as the camera rolls
and he cooly surveys Rhonda.
“No woman has ever publicized
a circus.”
“There’s always a first time,”
says the lady.
“Not with my circus there
won’t be.” “Cut,” interrupts di
rector Newman, “this is supposed
to be an UNHEARD of violation
of practically the last province of
the male—a WOMAN publicizing
a circus. You HATE this woman
on sight."
"Not me,” Vic shouts back to
Newman, “and not this woman.
She can violate my province any
time."
“Okay," the director grins, “but
remember that comes later in the
script. We’ll shoot it again," but
Newman won’t accept the second
:ry either.
“More hate," he shouts to Vic.
“Can’t you get her to change that
dress, or change into something
else, so she won’t look so darn
pretty?” pleads Mature.
Twice more Vic attempts to
become convincingly outraged
with the beautiful red-haired
publicity agent, and finally New
man is satisfied with Vic’s per
formance. I stopped Vic on his
way to his dressing room, and
that’s when he confided, with a
big smile on his handsome face
that he just couldn’t hate a good
looking dame.
A Favor, PLEASE
I This Is A Commercial I
I And It Costs Us Money I
I So, Please Read: I
I BASIC MOTIVE: To moke money.
BACKGROUND: In early 1957 we published a 36-page booklet of
"Editorial Re-prints from The Petal Paper" which sold for 50c. Al
together we sold 7,000 booklets. Since having sold them, requests
have continued to come in for the booklets.
THE PRESENT PITCH: What with being money mad and all that, and
having requests for certain editorials written since the first booklet pub
lication, we propose to print a booklet of either 52 or 60 pages, which
will sell for $1.00. Since a good bit of money is involved, we feel it wise
to make an effort to determine how many (if any) booklets can be sold.
Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing a booklet, would you kind
ly fill in the coupon below and mail it to us?
! p
! .3'

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