Las Vegas Shows and Entertainment:
Jerry Lewis Show Tickets and Reviews
Jerry Lewis has retired from performing in Las Vegas. Enjoy our archived review.
Reviewed September 13, 2000
by Ted Newkirk
Rarely do you get a chance to see a living legend — someone who both transformed comedy and has ties to old Las Vegas. And as someone in my mid-30’s, my only knowledge of Jerry Lewis has been the telethons and his goofy comedy movies from long before I was born. As noted here a few weeks ago, Jerry Lewis recently inked a 20 year deal with The Orleans hotel, and relatively new off-strip property located about 10 minutes from the Strip on Tropicana. Since he is going to be a regular headliner (3-4 times a year), I decided it would be great chance to find out what he is all about. Boy, am I glad I did!
Jerry Lewis took the stage to a standing ovation, and you could tell that he was in his element. He was essentially his own opening act, spending the first 20 minutes or so telling some (by his own admittance) corny jokes and then singing a couple of numbers. Not unlike what you might see on the telethon.
After an instrumental by his 21 piece orchestra, he came back and really kicked it into high gear. There was no specific theme, but more of a nonstop intertwining of entertainment. He’d do some of the impressions he made famous over the years, live bits from his films, and sing songs.
If you want to know who Jim Carrey borrowed his act from, go see Jerry Lewis. This man’s physical humor wasn’t a creation for the silver screen, and he still was just about as quick and agile as ever, including brushing himself off from a nasty (unplanned) fall and going on like a trooper. He pulled off everything from catching a spinning, tossed cigarette in his mouth to his funny faces and antics, all the time doing banter, jokes, and commentary in his many unique voices.
Those who long for old Las Vegas, or just wonder what it would have been like would enjoy the time he spends reminiscing about Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, which included personal thoughts and stories as well as a few short video clips. As a tribute to Frank, he sang Sinatra’s infamous arrangement of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
Jerry is 74 years old, was very ill last year with spinal meningitis, was only one week removed from the grueling MDA telethon, and on his fourth of four nights. And yet, he did an energetic 2 hours 15 minutes virtually nonstop, roughly twice the length that most Las Vegas shows now run. And, you could see his joy of performing and love toward the audience shining through.
Go see Jerry Lewis. If you are a little older, and you enjoy some of the classic songs from that era and remember his films, go see Jerry Lewis. If you want to see how a single performer can command a stage and an audience in a way few do today, go see Jerry Lewis. If you wonder what is was like back in the Rat Pack days when Las Vegas was a little more swinging, and the performers truly looked like they were having a great time onstage, go see Jerry Lewis.