Top 10 Jerry Lewis Comedy Movies (The Films Without Dean Martin)

The zany comedian made dozens of solo films after splitting from Martin.

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis went on to do great things even after splitting from comedy partner Dean Martin.  Umpteen viewings later, these classic comedies, each made during Jerry Lewis's 16 years as Paramount's highest-paid performer, still tickles and make me sad for the chumps who just don't understand his genius. 

01
of 10

"The Nutty Professor" (1963)

"The Nutty Professor"
Via IMDB

This pet project was Lewis' fourth effort as writer-director and, in cinematic terms, his best film. Almost Disney-esque next to Eddie Murphy's crude remakes, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde meet Prof. Kelp and Buddy Love. Outrageous and cool with Jerry somewhat restrained, there are many great moments, like at the gym and that silly dance. 

02
of 10

"The Ladies' Man" (1961)

"The Ladies' Man"
Via Screen Junkies

The funniest of a rich batch. Even Jerry cracks up during the most hysterical sequence, an improvised hat bit opposite a deadpan Buddy Lester. Our star-director wisely protects the laughs at the expense of all else in the loopy tale of Miss Helen Welenmelon's jilted houseboy, Herbert H. Heebert. The "H" stands for "Herbert." 

03
of 10

"The Geisha Boy" (1958)

"The Geisha Boy"
Via Olivefilms

Written and directed by Lewis' mentor, animator Frank Tashlin, the happiest Jerry heart-warmer teams an inept magician with an orphan. The bathhouse flood is as uproarious as anything ever filmed.

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04
of 10

"The Bellboy" (1960)

"The Bellboy"
Via YouTube

This is Jerry Lewis's silent movie. Oh, there are plenty of sounds to be heard as Stanley the mute bellhop bumbles into wild predicaments. Lewis wrote and directed his first film at Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel by day, while he performed concert obligations there each night. The whole film was written, filmed and completed in just three weeks! 

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05
of 10

"The Errand Boy" (1961)

"The Errand Boy"
Via doctormacro

Ace stooge Morty S. Tashman is hired by the Paramutual movie studios to spy on the staff. Morty is mostly mute and bumbles into wild predicaments. Hey, it worked the previous year -- BUT HE'S NOT A BELLHOP! Wonderful behind-the-scenes look at Paramount and the golden days before computers ripped the heart and magic from motion pictures. Jerry's famous "Chairman of the Board" pantomime lives here.

06
of 10

"It's Only Money" (1962)

"It's Only Money"
Via moviepostershop.com

Nabbed at the last minute to direct this already prepped production, Frank Tashlin returned for his sixth Jerry Lewis picture and one of their better vehicles. It's a crackerjack spoof of detective yarns with TV repairman/apprentice private eye Jerry on a quest to find the lost heir to a fortune, not knowing the lad is ... guess who? Meanwhile, swindlers and man-eating lawnmowers chase him down.

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07
of 10

"Who's Minding the Store?" (1963)

"Who's Minding the Store?"
Via Amazon

Jerry's a department store flunky in love with the owners' daughter (Jill St. John). He scoots through numerous duties to prove his worthiness, including dog walking, flagpole painting, and pantomiming to Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter," but Tashlin's ultimate live-action cartoon sequence awaits with a hungry vacuum cleaner gone berserk. 

08
of 10

"The Disorderly Orderly" (1964)

"The Disorderly Orderly"
Via IMDB

The final Jerry Lewis-Frank Tashlin collaboration dodges the scenario's comedy-deflating obstacles of illness and depression to become a slapstick success nonetheless. Set in a fancy nursing home, Jerome, the disaster-prone aide, battles sympathy pains, a snail, and a gasping, high-speed ambulance chase.

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09
of 10

"Rock-A-Bye Baby" (1958)

"Rock-A-Bye Baby"
Via IMDB

Inspired by Preston Sturges' superlative comedy "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944), this first Tashlin-helmed film for the solo actor borrows almost nothing from the original story. To protect a mother's identity, Jerry struggles to raise her infant triplets, while fending off meddlers and the mom's kid sister (Connie Stevens). Cute and sentimental. Catch Gary Lewis as Jerry in the flashback.

10
of 10

"The Family Jewels" (1965)

"The Family Jewels"
Via pixforweb

A chauffeur accompanies a child-heiress when she sets out to choose her new "father" among her uncles. Jerry plays seven characters in what is essentially an elaborate collection of sketches, the highlight of which is no-frills airline mogul/pilot, Capt. Eddie. This movie is the end of an era, as Lewis, nearly 40, segued into somewhat more mature roles with diminishing physical humor and clowning.