Hollywood and comedy legend Jerry Lewis died on Sunday at the age of 91. Over such a long, epic career, Lewis covered stand-up, song-and-dance, film, television, and perhaps best-known for his celebrity telethons supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association every Labor Day weekend from 1966 to 2010. Well, that and probably the most awkward last media interview ever.
While a legend in his heyday, Lewis also came to represent a relic of mid-20th Century entertainment, unable to relate or evolve out of the old Hollywood style. As with any star, Lewis also had a collection of commercial work and endorsements over the years, from shilling for Chesterfields’ smokes on stage with Dean Martin in the 1950s, to hamming it up for 7-Eleven in the ’80s. Here’s a look at six different ads over the decades.
Martin & Lewis “Chesterfields” (1950s)
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed together on stage, TV and in films from 1946 to 1956, and like most ads of the time, their TV sponsor Chesterfields cigarettes got its own little ditty. The two were also featured in the brand’s print ads.
The Jerry Lewis Show “Polaroid” (1963)
This is like an ancestor of the modern podcast ad, with Lewis gently interrupting his show to plug for Polaroid using personal anecdotes about his own photo hobby.
“The Big Mouth” (1967)
Here Lewis takes on a collection of characters to review his own film.
Hasbro “Spellbound” (1970s)
In this incredibly loooong ad, Lewis plays his stock character types–the dimwit–who ends up beating an evil Baron at a new spelling board game.
The best thing you can say about this spot is… well, let’s not dwell on quality. It’s pretty standard, cheesy ’80s fare with Lewis mugging for the camera while singing a terrible coffee jingle.
Coca-Cola “The Refreshers” (1990s)
Once again, Lewis is in full “zany” mode, this time for Coke in a spot reportedly directed by John Landis.JB