15 September 2017

Published September 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff


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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


             Danny grabbed five-year-old Joey by the hand and led him onto the stage.    

            “Sing it like we practiced,” Danny whispered.

            Gazing at the sea of strangers, Joey bit his lower lip and nodded. “Okay, Poppa.”

            Mama played the opening notes on the piano.   

            Joey burst into a rousing rendition of “Brother Can you Spare a Dime,” imitating Al Jolson.

            When he took his final bow to resounding applause, he tripped into a footlight which exploded and startled him. The fickle audience laughed.

            Sixty years later, Jerry Lewis told an interviewer, “I decided then and there I preferred laughter to applause.”


Thanks for the Laughter, Mr. Lewis






122 comments on “15 September 2017

  • Ha… This made me remember my only struggle with acting in high-school… During rehearsal I was supposed to sit down on a folding chair which buckled underneath with me ending up on the floor… of course this was added to the “script”… yes laughter is great (but I liked the applause as well)… I will probably not write this week, too many engagements to be able to followup with visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      I would dearly love to see that one. Perhaps now’s the time to take it from the vault of time. I watched an hour-long documentary the other day…its where I caught this story. Martin and Lewis…quite a ride that was for both of them. Thank you.




  • Dearest Rochelle, what a lovely tribute to a great man. I met him once when I was in Children’s Hospital for surgery. A funny man who truly did love children. It was a moment in time I’ll always cherish. He taught me how to make flowers with a fork and yarn… it might seem simple enough, but every time I make a little fork flower, I still smile. 🙂 See, just thinking about it brings a smile…that’s Mr. Lewis’ legacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Another icon gone. All the ones I grew up watching, while we laughed and cried and sat riveted to the screen.

    One of the best things about that great generation of entertainers is that they didn’t politicize themselves. They just did what they knew best, and we loved them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    How do you do that? You take an image and go down a path we could never expect and we always come out knowing something more.

    I know, I’m repeating myself, you are brilliant!

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alice,

      I’ve heard interviews of others who performed with him who said he was one of the most driven in Hollywood. He actually suffered a heart attack filming Cinderfella. Thank you for coming by.




  • So many of these great entertainers came through what we would call music hall – vaudeville to you guys – plying their trade to live audiences, traipsing from one little theatre to the next, working their apprenticeships the hard way, only to appear onscreen a polished performer. He was a true physical clown, very good at what he did. thanks so much for sharing a snippet of his early life. I wonder why he changed his name from Joey to Jerry?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lynn,

      There seems to be some confusion over whether his given name was Jerome or Joey Levitch. So many of those entertainers changed their names then to sound more professional. Many never heard of Frances Gumm, but most have heard of her alter ego, Judy Garland. 😉 Eugene Orowitz became Michael Landon and so on.
      At any rate, Jerry Lewis is another icon that has left an empty hole in the entertainment world. 😦 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, so many changed their names to distance themselves from their ethnicity, didn’t they? Not just Jewish performers, but Latino ones too – Martin Sheen (or Ramon Estevez) being a prime example. So good to see this isn’t the case so much now


  • Loved your story, Rochelle. I was always a Jerry Lewis fan.
    On the return trip from seeing the eclipse, NPR had a piece about Jerry Lewis and how he and Dean Martin came to be an act. It was very good and Jerry Lewis was very humble always giving so much credit to Dean Martin.
    Thanks, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish,

      While I agree that Mr. Lewis was a comic genius, I take his slapstick in small doses. Nonetheless, I can’t resist a good bio. I wonder how soon a movie about his life will be out. 😉 Thank you.




  • Dear Selena Aquafina,

    Thanks for the tribute to Jerry. Perry did a nice one as well. The world needs laughter and more guys like Jerry Lewis.

    He obviously had a big heart as well. How many years did he do the Labor Day telethon? He has left a hole that will not easily be filled.

    Off to the shower,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, not sure what’s going on, but link #57 keeps opening into edit mode on one of my old posts “Calm”. Could someone check it out? maybe fix the error? I’m at a loss.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    That’s such a great story, and how wonderful that he wasn’t offended by the laughter. It’s such a plus when people can laugh at themselves. Some people would have died of embarrassment at tripping over like that and never want to perform in public again, but he just turned it to a positive.

    Methinks he’s a fine example for us all!

    Speak to you later 🙂

    All best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      Many people take themselves too seriously. When they do they miss out on a lot of fun. I’ve always claimed to be my own anecdote. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Without humor, life is as dry as toast. There I go running on. 😉
      Jerry was a fine example, although often too slapstick for me. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Akshata,

      No need to apologize. My story’s relation to the prompt is found in the title and only in the title. “HEART of a Clown.” 😉 Remember it’s not what you’re looking at that matters, but what you see. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Hi Rochelle, I’m so happy to join back. I missed your stories along with reading other entries over here. It’s a great place to be at.
    Laughter, they say is the best medicine, but for a comedian — laughter is a kind of an applause, I think the best one. Such a wonderful tribute to such a great artist and a human being.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What a great story. So many actors and comedians have that “wow, THIS is what I want” moment when the audience reacts. And sadly the opposite is true – when they don’t react, it can plunge them into despair…


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