A Quick Story On The Late Jerry Lewis

Hi fam!

Just learned today that comedy icon, Jerry Lewis, has died today at the age of 91. Coming off of the loss of Dick Gregory just yesterday, needless to say, this week robbed us of two icons.

 I wanted to share a quick story on Jerry though because it's something special that happened to me that I always carry with me. In fact, it low-key changed my life.

 Years ago, when I was a very green journalist, I sort of accidentally scored the biggest interview of my career at the time with him. I showed up as I always did, looking like the last person you'd expect to see in that room or with that microphone and I definitely got my fair share of looks from the old men in the room of that Friar's Club.

So I walk in, not even fully understanding what big of a deal he was -- at that time I knew him mostly for his notoriety and his telethons. After we set up for the shot, I took my place off camera, as I always did at that time. Before I start, he looks me dead in the face, announces out loud, sitting next to Quentin Tarantino and Richard Belzer, that he won't do the interview if I don't sit down at the table with him. He actually told these dudes to move over for me.

Afterward, he straight up yelled at me and told me to never miss my chance to "take my seat where I belong." He said, "you are here tonight, that's not by accident. So don't you dare waste it." I was absolutely no one but some producer he had never even seen or met, but he treated me like I *actually* belonged at a table with him, a giant of comedy, all of his rich friends I didn't know, and, oh, an Oscar-winning director.

He wasn't perfect, we all know that. These days I wonder if anyone is without a tall pile of skeletons in their closet. But I will never forget how honest and real he was to me. And I swear to God I hear his voice every time I question myself about whether I belong in a conversation.

Lessons never come from the places you expect them to.

As you might expect, most of my moments on camera with him ended up on the cutting room floor. But it's still super special to me.

 Rest in peace.




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