An Evening With Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis

Who can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun, and make a grooovy lemon pie? The candy man, of course. I mean that cat that cooks and swings, Jack, you dig me? I am talking the Colossus, that towering inferno of talent, the one, the only Sammy Davis Jr.! Plus, his still more egregious pal Jerry Lewis!

When these two Rat Packers got together to tape a cable show at Bally’s in Las Vegas, the result, preserved on An Evening with Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis was worthy of a time capsule.

The daft duo will puzzle future generations, though. They’ll wonder: What does Jerry mean when he sentimentally says of Sammy, ”I’ve loved him for 40 years because of the machine within the skin”? If he’s so sweet on the runty one, why does he hoist him aloft with one arm and mutter into the microphone, ”I want to thank the NAACP for this award — HAHAHHAW”?

The pair alternate duets with solo demonstrations of show biz virtuosity. Sammy’s Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, and Anthony Newley medleys vie for applause with Jerry’s cane juggling and farcical lip-syncing to torch songs. The jokes are so old they’re positively poignant. Jerry to Sammy: ”Are you talkin’ to me? Then stand up.” Sammy, resentfully: ”That’s a short joke.” Jerry: ”It didn’t take long.” Mercifully, neither does their act. D-

An Evening With Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis
  • Movie