Kelp, not Klump! The one Jerry Lewis films that even his staunchest detractors grudgingly give their approval. No other comedic filmmaker, not Chaplin, not even Jacques Tati, knew how to wring gales of laughter through intuitive body placement in the frame quite like Jerry. His visual timing of a gag is exemplary, as evidenced by the heart-stopping orangutan-arms dumbbell schtick. The Nutty Professor is one of the most personal comedies ever made, particularly if you don’t buy into all the reductionist hype that surrounds its lead character’s alter ego. Lewis always had a thing for schizophrenia, and Buddy Love is no more 100 proof Dean Martin than he is Adolf Eichmann, one of the first names Jerry mentioned when asked who inspired the character. Buddy’s the evil twin of his creator — a brooding, egomaniacal entertainer, a perfectionist who demands that all eyes be focused on his marvelousness at all times. Lewis refused to allow his own children to watch the film until they came of age, and not for fear that they may look negatively upon their Uncle Dean. Pour yourself an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater and enjoy the most influential American comedy of the 1960s. With: Stella Stevens, Del Moore, Kathleen Freeman, Elvia Alman, and Buddy Lester. (1963) — Scott Marks
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