The accidental death of a famous comedian in a plane crash leaves his publicity team jobless. So they select hapless and clumsy hotel bellboy Stanley Belt (Jerry Lewis) as his successor and embark on synthesising a funny man out of him.
Jerry Lewis (who also co-wrote and directed the film) is in his element because Stanley is thick in the head, gangling and, of course, accident-prone.
As a comedian, the ex-bellboy is terrified at the thought of a performance. Yet he is still booked for America’s best television show – the Ed Sullivan Show.
The film’s working title was Son of Bellboy. It was initially intended to be a sequel to The Bellboy and Lewis’ characters in both films are bellboys named Stanley.
It’s not his best work but has some genuinely hilarious performances.
This was Peter Lorre’s final screen performance. He died in Los Angeles on 23 March 1964, from a stroke, aged 59.
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