The Errand Boy (1961)

92 mins | Comedy | 23 November 1961

Director:

Jerry Lewis

Cinematographer:

Wallace Kelley

Editor:

Stanley Johnson

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Arthur Lonergan

Production Company:

Jerry Lewis Productions
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HISTORY

Items in the 26 May 1961 DV and LAT announced that The Errand Boy would be Jerry Lewis’s next film for Paramount Pictures, scheduled to begin shooting in Jul 1961. Lewis, who was set to co-write, direct, and star in the picture, planned to utilize “the entire Paramount lot,” which would double as the fictional “Paramutual Pictures.” According to an item in the 19 Jul 1961 DV, some of the shoot would take place on the $500,000 set built for Lewis’s recently completed film, The Ladies’ Man (1961, see entry).
       The 24 Jul 1961 DV stated that principal photography would begin that day. According to a 29 Aug 1961 DV item, one scene depicting a premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre called for 400 background actors.
       The following people were listed as cast members in DV items published between 31 Jul 1961 and 14 Sep 1961: Irving Kaye; Rosalind Roberts; Jerry Wayne; Lewis’s co-screenwriter Bill Richmond; Sandy Stewart of the George Rock Sextet; Mary LeBow; Regis Toomey; Roscoe Ates; Kathy Reed; Maureen Janzen; Darlene Lucht; Patricia Olson; Eileen O’Neill; Joyce Ross; Janet Watson; Patricia Winters; John Hoyt; Dolores Donlon; and William Joyce.
       According to a news item in the 9 Aug 1961 DV, Lewis co-wrote an original song, titled “That’s The Way,” with Bill Richmond and Louis Y. Brown. A “‘name’ band” was said to be recording the tune, with actress Pat Dahl providing vocals. The song was to be used in a nightclub sequence, and released as a record.
       Two sneak previews were scheduled to take place on 25 Oct ... More Less

Items in the 26 May 1961 DV and LAT announced that The Errand Boy would be Jerry Lewis’s next film for Paramount Pictures, scheduled to begin shooting in Jul 1961. Lewis, who was set to co-write, direct, and star in the picture, planned to utilize “the entire Paramount lot,” which would double as the fictional “Paramutual Pictures.” According to an item in the 19 Jul 1961 DV, some of the shoot would take place on the $500,000 set built for Lewis’s recently completed film, The Ladies’ Man (1961, see entry).
       The 24 Jul 1961 DV stated that principal photography would begin that day. According to a 29 Aug 1961 DV item, one scene depicting a premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre called for 400 background actors.
       The following people were listed as cast members in DV items published between 31 Jul 1961 and 14 Sep 1961: Irving Kaye; Rosalind Roberts; Jerry Wayne; Lewis’s co-screenwriter Bill Richmond; Sandy Stewart of the George Rock Sextet; Mary LeBow; Regis Toomey; Roscoe Ates; Kathy Reed; Maureen Janzen; Darlene Lucht; Patricia Olson; Eileen O’Neill; Joyce Ross; Janet Watson; Patricia Winters; John Hoyt; Dolores Donlon; and William Joyce.
       According to a news item in the 9 Aug 1961 DV, Lewis co-wrote an original song, titled “That’s The Way,” with Bill Richmond and Louis Y. Brown. A “‘name’ band” was said to be recording the tune, with actress Pat Dahl providing vocals. The song was to be used in a nightclub sequence, and released as a record.
       Two sneak previews were scheduled to take place on 25 Oct 1961 in Las Vegas, NV, including a 2:30 a.m. showing for Las Vegas entertainers who performed on the “strip,” as noted in that day’s DV. The following month, The Errand Boy opened at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL, on 23 Nov 1961 (Thanksgiving Day), the 28 Nov 1961 DV noted. It received generally positive reviews in the 30 Nov 1961 DV, 7 Feb 1962 NYT, and 23 Feb 1962 LAT, although the latter two lamented that, after a promising set-up, the second half of the comedy fell flat. In New York City and Los Angeles, CA, the picture was screened on a double bill with Hey, Let’s Twist! (1961, see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 May 1961
p. 1.
Daily Variety
19 Jul 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Jul 1961
p. 8.
Daily Variety
31 Jul 1961
p. 9.
Daily Variety
1 Aug 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
8 Aug 1961
p. 5.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1961
p. 6.
Daily Variety
17 Aug 1961
p. 7.
Daily Variety
25 Aug 1961
p. 14.
Daily Variety
29 Aug 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
29 Aug 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Sep 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1961
p. 11.
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1961
p. 4.
Daily Variety
28 Nov 1961
p. 3.
Daily Variety
30 Nov 1961
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
26 May 1961
p. 30.
Los Angeles Times
23 Feb 1962
Section C, p. 15.
New York Times
7 Feb 1962
p. 33.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jerry Lewis Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score & conducting
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
Songs by Louis Y. Brown, Bill Richmond and Jerry Lewis.
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 November 1961
Premiere Information:
Chicago opening: 23 Nov 1961; Los Angeles showing: 28 Nov 1961; New York opening: 7 Feb 1962
Production Date:
began 24 Jul 1961
Copyright Claimant:
Jerry Lewis Productions
Copyright Date:
23 November 1961
Copyright Number:
LP20764
Duration(in mins):
92
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Determined to cut wasteful expenditures, T. P., the head of Paramutual Pictures, selects dimwitted paperhanger Morty S. Tashman to spy on studio employees while posing as an errand boy. Almost immediately, havoc reigns as the well-meaning but disaster-prone Morty blunders through a series of calamities. He disrupts the filming of a western, accidentally becomes the escort of a voluptuous European beauty attending a Hollywood premiere, panics the studio stenographic department, and ruins a sound-recording session. Finally, he turns a birthday party for a "great star" into a total shambles by almost drowning the woman in a flood of exploding champagne. The distraught T. P. decides to fire Morty before the entire studio is destroyed. However, two top directors who witnessed Morty's antics at the birthday party regard him as a potential star comedian, and T. P. is persuaded to sign him as the new reigning comic of Paramutual ... +


Determined to cut wasteful expenditures, T. P., the head of Paramutual Pictures, selects dimwitted paperhanger Morty S. Tashman to spy on studio employees while posing as an errand boy. Almost immediately, havoc reigns as the well-meaning but disaster-prone Morty blunders through a series of calamities. He disrupts the filming of a western, accidentally becomes the escort of a voluptuous European beauty attending a Hollywood premiere, panics the studio stenographic department, and ruins a sound-recording session. Finally, he turns a birthday party for a "great star" into a total shambles by almost drowning the woman in a flood of exploding champagne. The distraught T. P. decides to fire Morty before the entire studio is destroyed. However, two top directors who witnessed Morty's antics at the birthday party regard him as a potential star comedian, and T. P. is persuaded to sign him as the new reigning comic of Paramutual Pictures. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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