Jerry Lewis Discussed Death in Tearful Interview

‘If you’re real to yourself, you recognize there’s not a lot of time left’
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2017 3:46 PM CDT

Jerry Lewis’ life and career can be categorized by soaring highs and incredible lows worthy of several Hollywood stars. But upon reflection, the influential comedian who died at age 91 of natural causes Sunday was still not ready to say goodbye. In a 2016 Inside Edition clip promoting Max Rose, Lewis broke down into tears as he mused on the inevitability of death and his fear of leaving his loved ones behind. “I’m not going to hold them, I’m not going to love them,” Lewis said of family. “And I can’t handle that.” Watch the interview here and check out more of Lewis' best moments from around the web:

  • Quotable Jerry: "One day I’ll write the real truth down—the real truth. Then I’ll go to the penitentiary.” Lewis' quips could be as biting as they were funny. Parade and Bustle share some of his most quotable moments.
  • I am because he was: Jim Carrey recognized Lewis’ influence on his comedic stylings, tweeting: “That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was!”
  • Carrey's hardly alone: People and Entertainment Weekly have compiled a slew of celebrity tributes to Lewis, with heartfelt reactions from Jamie Lee Curtis, Penn Jillette, Marlon Wayons, and more.
  • Jerry's Kids: But comedy isn't the only place Lewis is a legend. In 40 years and change, he raised nearly $2.5 billion while hosting the Muscular Dystrophy Association's yearly telethon. Heavy has more on his time at MDA.
  • Martin and Lewis: Jerry Lewis rose to stardom next to Dean Martin in the '50s, when the comedy duo's television, radio, and film pairings topped the entertainment world. This clip of them singing That's Amore showcases how Martin's smooth persona oddly complimented Lewis' slapstick style.
  • So how’ve you been?: But after 10 years performing together, the duo split and didn’t speak for decades. Per the Hollywood Reporter, Frank Sinatra famously reunited them at one of Lewis’ live telethons (watch Lewis’ shocked reaction here, which he shrugs off like a comedic pro by asking Martin how he's been.)
  • Where to watch: Been awhile since you've seen The Nutty Professor? The New York Times lists 10 Lewis classics that you can stream now.
  • The movie we don’t talk about: “We don’t talk about that,” Lewis snapped when an Entertainment Weekly reporter brought up his unreleased film, The Day the Clown Cried. “Not even if I found out you were one of my sons.” But then he allowed 10 questions to discuss what some critics call the worst movie ever.
(Read more Jerry Lewis stories.)

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