Bob Costas

A stage comedian and movie star, Jerry Lewis was also very much a man of television

A stage comedian and movie star, Jerry Lewis was also very much a man of television

Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday at the age of 91 having survived a smorgasbord of ailments that individually would have killed other mortals, was first and foremost a movie star and filmmaker — one of a handful of comedians who might reasonably be called an auteur. But he also had a long life on television, as a performer, a game-show guest, a talk-show guest, a talk-show guest-host, a talk-show host, a three-time Oscars host and the name-above-the-title animating spirit of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, that yearly marathon over which he presided like a mad rabbi, priest and wizard.

Lewis began his TV career began with a bang in 1950, alongside partner Dean Martin, with...

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