Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? (partially found animated series; 1970-1972)
Will The Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down? was a 1970-1972 animated series created by Filmation (the first to feature the 'Scheimer circle' logo), broadcast on ABC Television and shown on Saturday mornings.
It featured the animated adventures of the famous slapstick comedian as he took on a series of odd jobs, with each one being 'staffed' by different characters Lewis would become, based on who he thought would best suit the task at hand, like in his movies to comic results. These characters would often resemble the ones from his many films. Though Lewis himself was involved with the series, either time or financial constraints had his character voiced by future Laverne & Shirley star David L. Lander. The series lasted a total of 18 episodes over two seasons.
The series' life after its network run is in question. It has not been released on home video, nor does it seem to be one of the offerings on the many nostalgia-based television channels in operation as of 2019. Internet videos seem to have only the show's intro, outro, and commercial bumpers. Animation cels are available for online purchase, but no episodes in any form can currently be found.
Several factors might be in play for keeping this series out of the public eye. One is that like his feature film The Day The Clown Cried, Jerry Lewis has personal reasons for not allowing it to be seen. Another possibility is that, like the early 1960s Dick Tracy cartoon, ethnic stereotypes depicted on the show make a current release difficult, although episodes of the Tracy series and others with such depictions have seen home video release, as have shows with fewer episodes. Finally, since the rights to the series are held by at least two entities (Lewis' personal holdings and the purchasers of Filmation's libraries), it could be that, like the 1966 Batman TV series (which only received a home video release in 2014), the effort to release it is considered unprofitable.
Speculation aside, there is a good reason to hope for this series to one day resurface in its entirety. It involves a classic comedian who sees a periodic resurgence, was broadcast by a major US television network and was produced by an animation powerhouse of the time. The only constraint might be a posthumously-placed desire by Mister Lewis to not see this surface, though again, his feelings on the subject are not known.
David L Lander's character of Andrew 'Squiggy' Squigmann broadly evoked many of Lewis' tropes, and in one episode of Laverne & Shirley, created a "lost" work that does not exist, when he and cohort Lenny use Laverne & Shirley's TV to watch 'the only cartoon that has both Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker'. Except for a brief scene at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, no such cartoon exists.
Several stills have popped up online and at least some episodes are apparently now on DVD for purchase at Toonarific. Also, since late February 2018, five of the episodes have surfaced online from the Russian sharing site, Odnoklassiki. They are available for viewing in English on the Sugartown, USA! Filmation Sensation channel, along with episodes of Gilligan's Planet and My Favorite Martians.
Additionally, a RadioDiscussions user by the name of deepstblu recalled in a forum post on June 13, 2015, an unusual incident that took place during a broadcast of this show on then-WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV) Philadelphia, in which this show's audio was broadcast with video of a show that NBC was airing at the same time. This is most likely due to wrong circuit routing at AT&T's video division. Nonetheless, no known recordings of this incident exist, as only a very small number of homes, let alone homes in Philadelphia, had home video recording units at the time.
- ↑ deepstblu's description of the incident. Retrieved 18 Oct '19.