Legendary comedian and performer Jerry Lewis passed away earlier this morning at the age of 91 and the comedy world is paying tribute to the legend through social media. Lewis' career and humanitarian work spanned several decades, which has influenced countless comedians and actors over the years to take up comedy while also supporting worthy causes. Lewis is known just as much for his "Jerry's Kids" telethons where he raised over $2.6 billion dollars for muscular dystrophy research, as he was for his amazing entertainment career.
In addition to comedy and humanitarian work, Lewis was also a singer, producer, director, and screenwriter. He was best known for his slapstick comedy in movies, television and radio and began performing at the young age of 5 with his parents in the Catskills Mountains in upstate New York. Early in his career he teamed up with Dean Martin and the duo ruled the nightclub scene in the 1950s before having an acrimonious falling out after Martin became less prominent. After the split, Lewis went solo and dominated the 1960s with movies like The Nutty Professor and Bellboy.
Upon hearing the news of the Lewis' death, many comedians have paid tribute to the legendary entertainer through social media. Comedian Penn Jillette spoke of his appreciates for Lewis. Jilette's Twitter account posted a series of tweets. Jillette had this to say.
"Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I feel (sic) apart, just sobbed. I guess it's time for that again."
Jillette continued by saying, "We will miss Jerry so much. I can't believe I got to meet him and spend time with him. How did mu life get good enough that Jerry Lewis would smile at me? And how sad to lose him. Goodbye to the real, no irony, king of comedy."
Comedian Patton Oswalt also took to Twitter to pay tribute. Oswalt had this to say.
"Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful... haven."
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis spoke about the movies that he had made with her mother. Curtis says, "Jerry Lewis loomed large in my family. Many movies with my mom and he made movies with Janet and Tony. He made me and many laugh. RIP." Dane Cook described Lewis as his mentor by saying, "My mentor and friend Jerry Lewis has passed away. A visionary. A pioneer in all forms of entertainment. A charitable human. A father. He meant the world to me and I will forever cherish the time that I got to spend with him and his family. At a dark time in my life he brought me joy."
Samuel L. Jackson also took to Twitter to pay tribute. Jackson said, It was incredible knowing and laughing with the Amazing Jerry Lewis! He'll keep em' laffin in the ever after!" Constance Zimmer said, "YOU were one of a kind with your generosity, your joy of life and the gift of making everybody laugh! Thank you." Actor Josh Gad also took to Twitter to say, One of the greatest of all time. A Legend. A showman. A comedic icon. A movie star. AN activist. A one of a kind. RIP." Jimmy Kimmel took to Twitter and had this to say.
"Jerry Lewis was a genius comedian, actor, director, inventor, humanitarian."
Kimmel also shared a video of Lewis singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" from a 1987 telethon. Many more actors and comedians shared tributes, which you can read below. R.I.P. Jerry Lewis.