I was looking forward to last week's letters regarding "The Devil Made Him Do It" (by Robert Strauss, Feb. 26), knowing that The Times' astute readers would be raking World Class Egomaniac Jerry Lewis over the coals. Who could ever tire of that? (Mind you, there was a time in my life when I loved Jerry Lewis so much you would have thought I was French, but then I turned 6.)
Jean McGraw let Jerry have it for discovering the joys of parenting only after raising five sons, and ignoring his sons' mother.
Burt Prelutsky accurately pointed out that, as a straight man, Dean Martin is not in the same class as George Burns and Oliver Hardy--though it had never occurred to me that Oliver Hardy was a straight man. I would add Bud Abbott and Dan Rowan to the list of Great Straight Men That Dean Martin Is Inferior To, but, in Dean's defense, it should be said that, of all straight men, he must have had the greatest patience .
But no one singled out the quote of Jerry's that left me very glad that I saw "Damn Yankees" last spring, while Victor Garber was still starring in it. Says Jerry of his role as Mr. Applegate, "I've been playing this character in other guises all these years. He's a mischievous kid, just an older one."
No, Jerry, Applegate is not a mischievous kid. He is SATAN! He's THE LORD OF HELL, THE HORNED BEAST, LUCIFER, MASTER OF THE PIT, THE DEVIL, BEELZEBUB, THE INCARNATION OF EVIL, THE ENEMY OF MANKIND!
Maybe Jerry Lewis is good casting for the part after all.