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The David Susskind Show "Open End" interview with Jerry Lewis (2011)

Jerry Lewis , David Susskind , .  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jerry Lewis, David Susskind
  • Directors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Ent. Dist. DVD
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005MQ58GI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,134 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Talk about your odd couples. In 1964, David Susskind was firmly established as TV s egghead talk show host and purveyor of serious and highbrow television drama. Jerry Lewis was at the apex of his box office popularity among juveniles (and their ticket buying parents) after hitting with a string of self-directed comedy hits that included The Errand Boy and The Nutty Professor. The two men had a history. As a young agent for Music Corporation of America in the late 1940s, Susskind handled Lewis and partner Dean Martin when they ruled TV on The Colgate Comedy Hour. Lewis would derisively refer to Susskind as 'my Harvard agent'. Later, as an outspoken producer, Susskind freely expressed his disdain for most actors and said he was appalled that some such as Lewis - were becoming filmmakers. Any hostility that might have existed was set aside when they talked for two illuminating hours on Susskind s Open End in October 1964. The sit down occurred during a humbling period for the two outsized egos. Lewis had just come off his first major failure as his mammoth variety show on ABC was yanked from the prime time schedule after 13 weeks. Susskind s once prosperous company Talent Associates was struggling to adapt as network television moved away from the kind of anthology programs and specials that made it a top outfit in the 1950s. But no matter what was happening in Susskind s career, Open End was a comfort zone where he could indulge his own curiosity and interests. Guests loved it too, as they could roam at length into subjects they simply could not go into on other programs. With Susskind as his only audience in the studio, Lewis does not clown for a moment. He s relaxed and thoughtful as he expounds on growing up in vaudeville, marriage, his Jewish faith, money, the directors he aspired to be, and why European critics loved him. It s a fascinating slice of show business history.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Those who remember the Golden Age of the TV talk show, fondly remember producer David Susskind, who for nearly 30 years interviewed celebrities - whether entertainment or political - on his weekly show. It began on local New York City television in 1958 on the independent TV station WNTA. (The same station that aired his "Play of the Week Series", episodes of which were just released on DVD last month and which I reviewed on Amazon earlier this week.) When WNTA became a public broadcasting station, the show - "Open End" went into syndication.

Unlike the Dick Cavett Show - which I have devoured on DVD - Susskind was more serious in interviewing a guest during his two-hour show (less commercials). I'd compare him more with Charlie Rose - but with a decidedly New York accent.

To my knowledge none of the "Open End" shows has been available on home video (until now) and this first release features the Jerry Lewis interview from 1965. Fans of Lewis' comedy should know that there is not a laugh to be found here. This is the serious, opinionated, and very egotistical Lewis being interviewed. The interview was done at a low point in his career (which started at age 5 performing on stage with his dad, who was in vaudeville). His ABC variety show had recently been cancelled.

I use the word egotistical here because Lewis not only controls the interview - sharing only the info he wants to share - and admits that he's a "control freak" as well as a "compulsive buyer" (the guy owns 144 pars of shoes and over 300 suits!). The discussion about his marriage and his "rules" for when she can go out with friends (she can't - and neither can his six sons!) is almost hard to hear. This is the not the zany crazy guy you see in his movies.

The DVD contains two 50 minute segments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry is the best! September 3, 2013
Verified Purchase
As a huge Jerry Lewis fan , I loved this anyway! A true genius and basically the ONLY genuine star left from the so called 'Golden era' of Hollywood (having stared in the 1940s and is still doing stand-up and shows at 87!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected March 15, 2013
By bookie
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I am very happy with this DVD. When I was looking at other reviews of this product I wasn't sure I would like it. Boy was I wrong. This interview showed an entirely different Jerry Lewis than you see in his movies. It wasn't joke after joke it was real and honest. This showed some of his good qualities and bad ones, his ego and his compassion. I am very glad I went ahead and bought this dispite some of the negative reviews I saw. This interview made me like his comedic genius even more because he puts on that act, it isn't all he is. This product arrived on time and in great condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For Jerry fans this is a must. July 24, 2014
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This is a fascinating interview from 1965. It really shows where Jerry Lewis was at in this period, but also is fascinating to watch him interact with Susskind, neither appeared to be particular fans of each other but for the most part tried to be very professional. As always from this period it's interesting to watch Jerry smoke his way through the show as well. For Jerry fans this is a must.
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