Jerry Lewis’ French Translator


Jerry Lewis’ French Translator

Mary…..Mary Gross
…..Jerry Lewis
Jean-Pierre…..Tim Kazurinsky

[ Jerry Lewis follows Mary into a room in the French movie studio ]

Mary: And theese.. theese is the place where every Jerry Louis movie is dubbed into the French language.

Jerry Lewis: No kidding! Right here, huh?

Mary: Oui! Theese is the room, help you become – how you Americans say – a superstar in France.

Jerry Lewis: Really! I like this room!

Mary: Ees very nice.

Jerry Lewis: It is.

[ Jean-Pierre, the French Translator, enters ]

Mary: [ excited ] He’s here!

Jerry Lewis: Who’s here?

Mary: Jean-Pierre, the man who is the voice of Jerry Louis to millions of Frenchmen! Oh, I am so excited!

Jerry Lewis: [ stunned ] Oh.. him? He does all of my movies?

Mary: Yes! Every single one of them! He has devoted his life to being the voice of Jerry Louis!

Jerry Lewis: Well! I would like to meet him!

Mary: I’m sure he will be very excited! [ runs to him ] Jean-Pierre! [ brings him forward, acknowledging Jerry ] Jerry Louis!

[ Jean-Pierre faints ]

Jerry Lewis: No, no, no.. it’s okay.. [ picks Jean-Pierre up ] It’s me, yes..

Jean-Pierre: [ excited beyond his wildest dreams, starts kissing Jerry all over, praising him in French ] Jerry!

Jerry Lewis: What is he saying, Mary?

Mary: He says he loves you, you are a genius.

Jerry Lewis: Well, that’s very nice, I appreciate all that.. Would you ask him if he’d mind it if I watched him work?

Mary: [ in French, passes on Jerry’s request ]

Jean-Pierre: [ excited, kisses Jerry again ]

Mary: It would be an honor!

Jerry Lewis: Wonderful..

Mary: He’s doing a scene from “The King of Comedy”.

Jerry Lewis: [ apprehensive ] Oh.. well, now.. “The King of Comedy”, that’s a very, very complex role.. I mean, it’s very tense. It was a tremendous challenge for me, having to play it perfectly straight, of course. And, uh, this film takes a lot of risks – as a matter of fact, putting it into a foreign language is a risk. I’ll be interested.. [ Jean-Pierre has been kissing him admiringly ] Uh.. are you gonna be here again tomorrow? I’ll be interested to see how he does. Are they ready?

Mary: They certainly are! They’re ready to start!

Jerry Lewis: Good!

[ Jean-Pierre sets up his microphone in the center of the room, as the reel counts down on-screen ]

Mary: Theese is the scene that Jean-Pierre will be dubbing!

[ close-up of screen plays clip from “The King of Comedy” where Jerry’s character likens Robert deNiro’s deranged comedian character to Hitler ]

Jerry Lewis: [ watching ] That’s.. that’s a tough scene..

Jean-Pierre: [ addresses Jerry before starting ]

Mary: Ohh.. this is the happiest day of his life!

Jerry Lewis: Good..

[ Jean-Pierre cues a replay of Jerry in the movie saying, “Yes, it is! I have a life, okay?” ]

Jean-Pierre: [ starts screaming impishly, confusing the serious drama with Jerry’s typical nutty comedies like “The Nutty Professor” and “The Patsy” ]

Jerry Lewis: [ waving his hands ] Wait.. wait.. hold it.. wait a minute.. cut it.. cut it..

Mary: It is incredible how he sounds exactly like you, eh?

Jerry Lewis: He sounds exactly like me?

Mary: Eet ees uncanny, no?

Jerry Lewis: NO! Listen, Jean-Pierre.. this is a tragedy! Do you understand? [ Jean-Pierre kisses Jerry’s hands ] Will you stop with the kissing, and listen to me?

Mary: He does not speak English!

Jerry Lewis: Oh.. he doesn’t speak.. he doesn’t speak English! Then, how does he.. I mean.. look! Will you tell him this is tragic and dramatic!

Mary: [ translating to Jean-Pierre ]

Jean-Pierre: [ surprised ] Oh! Oui! Tragedie! [ laughs ] [ next scene replays, Jerry’s character yelling, “I told you I’d call to get rid of you!” ]

Jean-Pierre: [ translates wildly – “Allo? Allo? Au revoir!” ]

Jerry Lewis: No, this is insane!

[ movie clip plays Jerry’s character shouting, “That’s right!” ]

Jerry Lewis: No.. [ yells at the control booth ] Hold it! Cut it! Hold it and cut it, or cut it and hold it! Mary? Mary, this is a very, very serious film. It’s an important statement. A comment about American society! And he’s reading it like an idiot!

Mary: [ panicking, she informs Jean-Pierre in French that he’s translating the movie improperly ]

Jean-Pierre: [ ashamed of himself, pulls up his scarf and tries to choke himself to death ]

Jerry Lewis: [ worried by Jean-Pierre’s sudden action ] What is he saying, Mary? What is he saying?!

Mary: He’s ashamed, he wants to die!

Jerry Lewis: [ grabbing Jean-Pierre ] No, no, no, no, no!! Tell him to.. tell him to let go of the scarf!

Mary: Let go of the scarf!

[ Jean-Pierre won’t budge ]

Jerry Lewis: [ giving in ] Tell him I was joking.. tell him he did it perfect!

Mary: [ translating ] Perfecte!

Jean-Pierre: [ releases his grip on his scarf, turns to Jerry, smiles, then kisses him some more ]

Mary: He says, “I love this man! I love this man!”

[ next scene plays, DeNiro’s character shouts, “Alright, I made a mistake!” followed by Jerry’s character yelling, “So did Hitler!” ] [ near-mimicking Jerry’s flop “Which Way To The Front?”, Jean-Pierre jumps around yelling “Hitler!” as Jerry and Mary exit the studio ] [ screen shrinks, then reappears with the front page of Variety, big, bold headlines reading “King Of Comedy – Zany Box Office Smash In France” ] [ fade to black ]

SNL Transcripts

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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