Legendary comedian and film actor Jerry Lewis died on Sunday, August 20, at the age of 91. His early work as a manic comic with a gift for physical comedy laid the groundwork for generations of wildman comedic actors like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey. But Lewis was more than a funnyman. He was also a philanthropist, serving as the honorary national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for over 50 years.
Harkins Theatres is paying tribute to Jerry Lewis the funnyman and Jerry Lewis the philanthropist with a weekend of special screenings. The chain's Shea 14 location will host screenings of two of Lewis's greatest films: 1963's The Nutty Professor and Martin Scorsese's 1982 classic The King of Comedy. All proceeds from the screenings will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
If you're unfamiliar with Lewis as a film actor, these movies are a great introduction to his range as a performer. The Nutty Professor is Jerry at his most unhinged and over-the-top. It's like watching the president of your high school's chess club go off on a cocaine bender.
Scorsese's The King of Comedy showcases an entirely different side of the veteran actor. He plays it straight as a world-weary, cynical late-night TV show host who gets kidnapped by a deranged fan played by Robert De Niro. A delightful black comedy that hasn't aged a day, it's essential viewing (even if you hate Lewis as a comedian).
Tickets for both films are only $5 and can be purchased in advance on the Harkins Theatres site.
Showtimes for the weekend are as follows:
Friday, August 25, through Sunday, August 27
The Nutty Professor: 2 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
The King of Comedy: 11:25 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 9:35 p.m.