The Adventures of Jerry Lewis and Maynard G. Krebs

With Bob Denver deceased, I've been reminded of the torment plaguing me for more than 40 years. Please forgive the public opening of an old wound and stand back, I'm a bleeder.

As a child, I was an avid consumer of comic books. My favorite series was "The Adventures of Jerry Lewis," which ran for nearly two decades, beginning in 1952 as "The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis." Jerry was so cool.

These magazines were produced and published by DC Comics and contained the same high quality one would expect from the keepers of "Superman," "Batman," and other prominent heroes.

One day, visiting a revolving rack of comic books at a drugstore, I picked up my first issue of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," based on the TV sitcom, which featured Bob Denver as beatnik Maynard G. Krebs. I loved the show, so I knew I'd love the print version, too. I thumbed quickly through the pages, looking for Maynard. He was so cool.

Then, I saw him. Maynard G. Krebs is Jerry Lewis with a goatee. It's the same guy!

I was crushed. That was a day I realized the adult world is a hard one in which to live. Grown-ups have secrets and they shield the young. It might also have something to do with our baby soft skin, which continues fabulously into my middle age. I couldn't say for the others.

Soon, I also learned the truth about the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the second Darrin.

Recently, I've been told exactly why I must leave the toilet seat down, and, beyond those tears, I'm scheduled to be briefed on Dame Edna next week.

There are no shortages of mysteries and deceptions for us mature minds to be dealt.

And, hey, while I'm feeling exorcised, that Olsen girl is twins!

What I can't figure out is if Bob Denver died last Friday at 70, how did Jerry Lewis do his live telethon later the same weekend, claiming to be almost 80?

Perhaps Jerry is just doing the one role now. No more Bob Denver characters. He's retiring a bit. Yeah, that makes sense. He's so cool.

But where is the goatee?

I need more memos. I'm not getting my memos.

More: Remembering Bob Denver, 1935-2005

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