Jerry Lewis celebrated his 90th birthday last month, but it doesn’t mean the Friars Club can’t do a tribute for the comedian three weeks later, according to Fox News. However, the Friars Club, which usually fills its 90-minute events with jokes, didn’t joke much about the comic master.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 9, 2016
Last Friday, nearly 200 people gathered at the dining room on the first floor to witness the event dedicated to Jerry Lewis’ 90th birthday. The comedian was also in attendance of the event and reportedly laughed and cried throughout the 90-minute event.
But Jerry Lewis wasn’t the focus of the jokes at the event, as the comedians had plenty to joke about. In particular, there were R-rated jokes about GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, healthcare, sex, and growing old. The jokes were told by Richard Belzer, Freddie Roman, Max Alexander, Jim Carrey, and many others.
But every time Jerry Lewis’ name was mentioned throughout the event, it wasn’t as the butt of a joke but rather praises of Lewis’ comedic wit. The comedian was also honored as an inspiration for thousands of comics around the world, and as a savior for Richard Belzer himself.
Comics Jeff Ross, Richard Belzer, and Jim Carrey celebrate Abbot Jerry Lewis’ 90th birthday at the Friars Club. pic.twitter.com/lzzTT29X6X
— CAPTAIN CELLULOID (@CAPTCELLULOID) April 9, 2016
Throughout March 16, Jerry Lewis was curious to see if his family and friends were planning anything for his 90th birthday, according to Las Vegas Sun. And as it turns out, they were planning something pretty extraordinary.
And this “something” was a surprise party at Las Vegas’ Piero’s Italian Restaurant. Freddie Glusman is the owner of the restaurant and Jerry Lewis’ pal, who allowed about 30 members of the comedian’s family to gather there for the special occasion. The celebration included lots of laughs and a huge cake.
Jerry Lewis arrived at the venue with his wife Sam and the whole place went crazy. Danielle, the comedian’s daughter, thanked her dad for being her best friend while the owner of the restaurant thanked Lewis for all adventures of their friendship. Glusman was thankful for Lewis’ efforts to promote the restaurant at the MDA Labor Day Telethon broadcasts.
“There are two Jerry’s who made Piero’s a success. Jerry Lewis and Jerry Tarkanian.”
During the event, a video featuring high-profile celebrities was presented to the guests. The video included happy birthday wishes from world-famous celebrities such as John Travolta, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Don Rickles, Celine Dion, Woody Harrelson, and many others. Rickles, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on May 8, said at the end of the clip, “Happy Birthday. Now go to the doctor!”
Then the huge cake was brought out by Jerry Lewis’ daughter, Danielle. But Lewis got suspicious by the cake’s rather huge size, and said, “I know somebody is in there!” Then Melody Sweets came out of the cake and started singing “Happy Birthday,” having fun with the man of the night and the owner of the restaurant.
Then the cake’s top was offered to Lewis by Steve Lawrence, who said the comedian might want this piece later. And then the guests witnessed what they had all gathered for: the legendary Jerry Lewis’ speech.
“I want to say that I am so delighted to make 90 and to have all of my friends here.”
With his voice trembling from all the warmth received at the birthday party, Jerry Lewis said it was “a lovely, wonderful, exciting thing” to celebrate the special occasion.
“I’m so proud… so grateful, and I can’t really explain the feeling of seeing all these faces that have made my life wonderful. Thank you.”
The heart-wrenching speech, which brought many guests to tears, was followed by a round of applause and people forming a line to hug the legendary comedian. Jerry Lewis was the man of that night.
[Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images]