Tuesday, December 20, 2016

An IP flashback on Jerry Lewis

Yahoo Celebrity ran a post Jerry Lewis Gives the Most Awkward Interview which included text:

Comedian Jerry Lewis sat down with the Hollywood Reporter for its series on entertainers who are in their 90s and still working. The interview with Lewis was so bad that the Hollywood Reporter headlined it the “most painfully awkward interview of 2016.”


” When asked about any memories of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, Jerry told Andy that he didn’t want to share any with him.

The interaction of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin has been much discussed. A small footnote involves a curious intellectual property issue, which even touched on the television show "77 Sunset Strip."

Early episodes of "77 Sunset Strip" prominently featured a place called "Dino's Lodge," which was a real establishment on Sunset Strip (no, not at 77 Sunset Strip, which address does not exist, but rather at 8532 Sunset Blvd.). Dino's Lodge opened in 1958. It was not owned by Dean Martin, but naming rights were licensed from Martin in return for a percentage. "77 Sunset Strip" had an agreement with Dino's Lodge, and the display of the Dino's Sign in the opening credits of the tv show amounted to a kind of infomercial. It is interesting to note that the character Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson III (played by Edd Byrnes) was portrayed as a parking valet at Dino's Lodge, which was a real establishment.

Maury Samuels was a business partner of Martin's and was involved in the Dino's Lodge transaction. By 1961, he and Martin had a falling out, and Jerry Lewis partnered with Samuels to open a restaurant for Jerry Lewis. Called "Jerry's," it was about 3 blocks from "Dino's Lodge." Jerry hired the chef, and other employees, from Dino's Lodge. By February 1962, Dean Martin severed ties with "Dino's Lodge." By February 1963, Lewis was trying to sell "Jerry's."

Of intellectual property matters, mentalfloss noted:

Much to his aggravation, he [Martin] lost a motion in court to have his likeness and name removed from the sign. So the new owners carried on as Dino’s Lodge, with the big neon head staring down on Sunset for another decade before the place finally went bust.

The hipster character Kookie played by Byrnes became popular. His single (with Connie Stevens) --"Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)" -- became the first hit single for the newly established Warner Bros. Records. In the show, Kookie drove a T bucket hot rod (created by Norm Grabowski ) based on a shortened 1922 Ford Model T touring car combined with to a shortened Model A pickup truck bed and powered by a 1952 Cadillac 331-cid V-8. In 1957, the car was featured in a LIFE magazine Photographic Essay titled, “The drag racing rage: hot rodders grow in numbers but the road to respectability is a rough one.”

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