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.
Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I feel apart, just sobbed. I guess it's time for that again.— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017
We will miss Jerry so much. I can’t believe I got to meet him and spend time with him. pic.twitter.com/wpHtjuWwmp— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017
How did my life get good enough that Jerry Lewis would smile at me? And how sad to lose him. pic.twitter.com/taPhl1utzO— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017
Goodbye to the real, no irony, king of comedy. pic.twitter.com/t7qEkDo4Sl— Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful...— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 20, 2017
My mentor & friend Jerry Lewis has passed away. A visionary. A pioneer in all forms of entertainment. A charitable human. A father.— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) August 20, 2017
He meant the world to me& I will forever cherish the time I got to spend with him & his family. At a dark time in my life he brought me joy.— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) August 20, 2017
Jerry's daughter Danielle is the reason her dad & I got so close. I will never be able to thank her enough for putting him in my life.— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) August 20, 2017
Always funny. Always helpful. Always honest. I will miss you Jerry Lewis. The world has lost a true innovator & icon. pic.twitter.com/mJzLbh0VFd— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) August 20, 2017
It was incredible knowing & laughing with the Amazing Jerry Lewis! He'll keep'em laffin in the ever after!— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis was a genius comedian, actor, director, inventor, humanitarian and, as a Las Vegan, what I miss most..https://t.co/R0uLkPOwyU— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis passed today,millions around the world loved him,millions of kids he helped w/his telethons. R.I.P. &condolences 2 his family— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 20, 2017
Sad to read about the passing of Jerry Lewis. We met when we both received honorary degrees from Emerson in '93; how he made me laugh! RIP. pic.twitter.com/fNKcEyXFXK— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) August 20, 2017
Oh NOOOOO!!! Jerry Lewis just died! Another comic legend has left us. Martin&Lewis were the Beatles of comedy! Nobody was EVER bigger!— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) August 20, 2017
RIP #JerryLewis Just too many examples to choose from in many areas of entertainment. So many favs. Not enough room.— Ralph Macchio (@ralphmacchio) August 20, 2017
And charity. I always loved spending time with the man. https://t.co/BJEgRgsY5z— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) August 20, 2017
even tho u said women arent funny rest in peeeeeeeaaacccccceeeeee https://t.co/f4K8lav7zG— Chelsea Peretti (@chelseaperetti) August 20, 2017
From 3 on I cherish how this genius brought comfort to me with laughter and then support and friendship. Rip Jerry pic.twitter.com/Jfu2cXZEju— Richard Lewis (@TheRichardLewis) August 20, 2017
Sorry to hear about the passing of the legendary comedy giant Jerry Lewis. Rest In Peace.— Tom Green (@tomgreenlive) August 20, 2017
The French were right about him all along. RIP Jerry Lewis pic.twitter.com/jNLRPQeS4G— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) August 20, 2017
Jerry Lewis! Oy! Another comic legend gone. What an amazing talent and philanthropist. A long, well lived life!#RIPJerryLewis— Jon Lovitz (@realjonlovitz) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis were two of the funniest, most legendary and prolific entertainers of our generation and I bow to their genius.— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) August 20, 2017
RIP jerry lewis... he was always so nice to me - the greatest of all time.— Harry Connick Jr (@HarryConnickJR) August 20, 2017
Watched nutty professor over and over and over again as a kid. Got to meet and hang with clegend who made it. #jerrylewis. Rip— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory and Jerry Lewis in a 12 hour span? That shit happens in threes. I'm rollin' up in bubble wrap and layin' on the floor & whatnot— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) August 20, 2017
I'm so heartbroken that Jerry Lewis passed away. His buddy films w/ Dean Martin are still some of my all-time favorites...— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) August 20, 2017
RIP Jerry Lewis.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) August 20, 2017
As a kid, I'm pretty sure I was the biggest Jerry Lewis fan in the world. Truly. R.I.P. Jerry Lewis.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 20, 2017
We have lost a great comedian and even greater heart. Thank you for the laughs and the feels, Jerry Lewis. https://t.co/vdYCfd7atJ— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 20, 2017
Condolences to the family of Jerry Lewis. The world is a lot less funnier today. ☹️— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 20, 2017
I grew up with Jerry Lewis. He let me know it was ok to be goofy.— Ryan Stiles (@WhoseRyanStiles) August 20, 2017
Back with Dean. Rest In Peace.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dick Gregory... pic.twitter.com/6Rq1n1ztqi— Carolines Comedy (@CarolinesonBway) August 20, 2017