Joe Guse's The Tragic Clowns: An Analysis of the Short Lives of John PDF

By Joe Guse

ISBN-10: 1449550681

ISBN-13: 9781449550684

This e-book presents a mental profile of John Belushi, Lenny Bruce, and Chris Farley, and makes an attempt to check the pathos that exists within the internal worlds of comedians.

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Extra resources for The Tragic Clowns: An Analysis of the Short Lives of John Belushi, Lenny Bruce, and Chris Farley.

Example text

Typically, this person remains stone-faced before the antics of the Lewis character, like Henry Silva’s stepbrother Maximilian in Tashlin’s Cinderfella, whose cigarette Lewis’s Fella repeatedly tries to light with destructive results. Since the unresponsive partner represents a development of the founding duality of the Martin and Lewis partnership—in Lewis’s words, “a handsome man and a monkey”—a duality that has remained important to Lewis’s work since the breakup of the comedy team, it is worthwhile to analyze that duality here.

At the end of the film, Lewis emerges, after the apparent accidental death of the character he is playing, in his own persona as director and star (making it explicit that the whole narrative, in which Stanley is called on to substitute for an already dead star, is a self-reflexive fantasy in which Lewis reinvents himself and starts over from the beginning). indd 21 | 21 9/11/09 11:14:16 AM Store? poster (just as in The Disorderly Orderly there appears an ad for The Patsy); even Stanley’s entrance line (“The bellboy”) can be heard as a reference to the title of Lewis’s first directed film.

I won’t trip over that piece of wood on the stage if it’s me walking there. But Jerry will, or Stanley, or the Idiot, or whatever we call him in that moment. He has to trip over it. indd 26 Jerry Lewis 9/11/09 11:14:17 AM it, sandpapering all that down, and bringing up all of the gargoyles.  . There’s nothing more dramatic than that moment.  . Because I have to call on something that’s not what I want to be at that moment. I want to be there with my girl or my wife watching some other schmuck make a fool of himself.

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The Tragic Clowns: An Analysis of the Short Lives of John Belushi, Lenny Bruce, and Chris Farley. by Joe Guse


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