The Jerk (1979) Poster


Alternate Versions

A version of "The Jerk" shown on cable's Turner Network Television contained alternate footage. Besides changing the name of Navin's dog to "Stupid" rather than the traditional "Shithead," genuine alternate footage was contained. In one previously-unseen scene, Navin is so broken-up over the loss of Marie that he "just had to spin." The carnies remove him from the ride by force, and he tries to explain to them what emotions are. The "charity" montage is also rather different. Before the cat juggling sequence Navin meets a professor-type who insults him and shows him some apparently unpleasant pictures, and a Texan millionare who cries over small cracks on the seat of his airplane. Navin pays both, of course. In this version there is no "Iron Balls McGinty" sequence.
Generally, commercial TV prints that edit Navin's dog's name to "Stupid", show Navin on the amusement park ride, "so broke that he had to spin," show the Texas Millionaire complaining about the seat cracks on his airplane, and have extended dialog with Navin elaborating with Mr. Hartoonian about making $1.10 an hour. These prints also have close up camera angles, to avoid showing Billy's profane T-Shirt. Most sexual reference dialogue by Patti is cut.
Other TV prints simply edit the theatrical release which omits Navin "spinning" at the amusement park, don't show the Texas Millionaire scene,and no added extra line by Navin said to Mr. Hartounian at the gas station. "You'll pay me, $1.10, if I work here an hour?" Suggested sexual dialogue by Patti when he is visiting her trailer is often left intact. Navin's dog is simply named "Head" in this version. Billy's profanity T-shirt is not obstructed by camera angles, but the offensive word is "Whited Out."
On the television version there are a few extra scenes not available on the VHS release. On the TV version Navan elaborates on making a dollar and ten cents an hour, and he also tells his mother he was waiting for his skin to change color any year now. This footage is not available anywhere else.
The scene where Mr. Hartounian hires Navin is a bit different in the TV version. Instead of showing Navin at the urinal, the entire shot of Jackie Mason is used until Navin exits the men's room. Also, Mr. Hartounian mocks Navin's response and mentions how kids today "wanna start on the top and work their way sideways," which ends in him wondering, "who'm I talkin' to?"
The scene where Navin and Marie first meet was also changed. After Navin rescues Billy from the train ride, he tramples through a bunch of miniature houses because his cap is pulled down. When Marie gives Navin back his stuff and thanks him for saving Billy, an alternate take and different shots are used. After Navin says, "he's a real little dickens," Marie adds the line, "so are you," and a close-up is used when she kisses him.

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