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An Evening with Sammy Davis, Jr. & Jerry Lewis (1988)

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5 November 1988 (USA)  »

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An Entertaining Hour
29 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Davis and Lewis take turns doing parts of their solo acts and do a few bits together. This kind of show biz seems to be disappearing quickly and we are lucky to have this taped account of what American entertainment was like during most of the 20th Century. Along with Bobby Darin, Davis was the most versatile night club performer in American history. His skill as a jazz-inspired singer would be enough to make him a legend. When you add his dancing, instrumental, and comedy skills, you have an entertainer who cannot be beat. Sammy's only downfall was his constant attempt to remain "with the times" and his attempt at Michael Jackson material is embarrassing.

Lewis is always at his best in front of an audience. He performs an abbreviated version a show similar to "Jerry Lewis Live". His pantomime is first rate as always. When working with Sammy, he steals a gag first used by his ex-partner Dean Martin. I may be in the minority, but I enjoy Jerry's singing. He may not have the greatest sounding voice, but he knows how to put across a song.

The problem of Davis and Lewis together is that they are too similar. They both are jacks of all trades (though Lewis is a master of pantomime and Davis is a master of singing). They are both zany and over the top. Davis had to take Dean Martin's role as the less zany in this show. They don't look good together. But this is minor griping. We must thank HBO for making this record of these two legendary performers available.


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