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Hardly Working (1980)

 -  Comedy  -  3 April 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 459 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

In Jerry Lewis's first film in a decade, he plays Bo Hooper, an unemployed circus clown who can't seem to hold down a job. The film opens with a brief montage of clips from past Lewis ... See full summary »



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Title: Hardly Working (1980)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bo Hooper
Claire Trent
Robert Trent
Deanna Lund ...
Frank Loucazi
Claude Reed
Ted Mitchell
Jerry Lester ...
Alex Henteloff ...
J. Eating
Britt Leach ...
Gas Station Manager
Peggy Mondo ...
Woman in Restaurant
Amy Krug ...
Michele Trent
Stephen Baccus ...


In Jerry Lewis's first film in a decade, he plays Bo Hooper, an unemployed circus clown who can't seem to hold down a job. The film opens with a brief montage of clips from past Lewis movies. He then moves into a succession of jobs that he gets himself fired from including a gas station attendant and a mailman - all with disastrous results. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The world's funniest funny man is back!




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hardly Working  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Reportedly, Jerry Lewis was two days into filming when he discovered the financing for this picture only amounted to $25,000. Lewis secured funds from entrepreneur James J. McNamara, his first credit as a producer. Later, work on this picture was stopped for six months in 1980 when the film ran out of financing and Lewis also declared himself bankrupt. The gap in filming has been said to have been responsible for continuity problems in the movie. See more »


At one point, Lewis tries to open the hood of a car. The hood quickly pops up and knocks Lewis on his feet. In the next shot, the hood is back down without having been touched. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Rod Stewart (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Does the laughter ever START!?

Auteur Jerry Lewis does it all. He plays inept Bo Hooper haplessly drifting from job to job. Lewis' sense of timing as a director is phenomenally off. The scenes of Lewis' fussing with the donuts, the wacky "my ring is caught in your mesh" gag, and the lumbering appearance of the Budweiser Clydesdales are the three longest and most drawn-out scenes in "comedy" history.

Director Lewis is trying to give us time to savor our laughter; it really isn't necessary.

I absolutely dare you to watch this movie from start to finish. So bad it changes your concept of space and time. Then again, if you like seeing Jerry with big fake teeth pretending to be a wild Japanese cook at Benihana's, then you might genuinely like this movie. If so, shame on you. Absolutely awful.

I've never been lucky enough to see Lewis' legendary "The Day The Clown Cried", so this one will have to do as the worst movie I've ever seen.

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