Inside the Office of Jerry Lewis

jerry lewis.jpgPerhaps it’s our shameless Francophilia and penchant for spit-takes, but we’ve always been intrigued by Jerry Lewis. And so we were thrilled to read Chris Nashawaty‘s detailed recounting of his meeting with the comic legend, published in the January 30/February 6 double issue of Entertainment Weekly. At next month’s Academy Awards, Lewis will receive a special Oscar for his humanitarian efforts just in time for his 83rd birthday. But let’s get right to the important news: what his Las Vegas office looks like.

Lewis’ office in Las Vegas is a time capsule of a bygone golden age of comedy. Everything is hermetically clean, superstitiously orderly, and most important, red: the carpet, his old-school IBM Selectric typewriter, the telephone, even the bowl of hard candy on the coffee table. The walls are covered with posters from his movies, flattering letters from Stan Laurel and Steven Spielberg, and a museum’s worth of photos of him with Dean [Martin], him with JFK, and him with Robert De Niro on the set of 1983’s The King of Comedy. He could charge admission at the door.

Although we would have liked to know what kind of hard candy Lewis favors (we have a strong hunch that butterscotch was inolved), the details don’t end there. Click “continued…” for more of Lewis’s office tableau, which includes the dangerous combination of velvet slippers and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Behind a large, wooden wraparound desk sits the King himself, sharply dressed in a red argyle sweater over a crisp red button-down shirt. He wears a pair of black velvet slippers with gold filigree. His jet-black hair is slicked back with Vitalis as it’s been for the past 40 years. There’s also a plate of Krispy Kremes sitting just beyond his reach. Lewis eyeballs them every few minutes, until the uncontrollable voice in his brain can’t be quieted any longer. “They look good, don’t they?” he asks. “I honestly don’t know whether to eat ’em or f— ’em!” Maybe the producers of the Oscars should get that five-second tape delay ready.