Superman Meets Jerry!

Mike Meets SuperJew!
Since "The Adventures of Jerry Lewis" comic book series was produced by DC Comics, there were occasional editions with the publisher's superheroes, like Batman, crossing over for guest appearances. Jerry was such an important celebrity that he could even host the big guy, Superman.

Seeing the cover again brings back memories. Jerry Lewis often jokingly referred to himself in the real world as "SuperJew." This knowledge would play into my first new friendship upon entering high school.

Although I haven't been in contact with my pal, Gary, in more than 35 years, I do remember that first morning in 8th grade homeroom. We arrived, having been promoted from separate elementary schools. Due to alphabetizing, we sat next to each other. We hit it off immediately. Moments later, we knew we were in trouble.

Gary and I had set our eyes and dreams on the coveted title of "Class Clown." We were obvious cut-ups and contenders. So much so, I soon found myself preparing gags to *ad-lib* in homeroom each day. Wednesdays were the best because I could repeat Red Skelton's TV monologue from the previous evening. Gary worked hard to top me and vice versa.

After several months, in a move I calculated to be designed to remove me from my quest for mayhem master, Gary took me aside and asked if I'd like to be his writer. He wanted me to script his morning center-of-attention material.

I declined to retire from my performance career, when, after all, I was doing so well, but I did enter into a collaboration on some special material for him.

Once, I mentioned Lewis' "SuperJew" remarks and Gary, being Jewish himself, fell into deep, deep love with expanding the concept. He assumed the role of SuperJew on campus.

We never developed a full routine because he changed schools and we lost touch, but I do remember his introduction. Those words have run through my head hundreds of times in the intervening decades.

"Faster than a speeding matzoh ball. ... More powerful than a bowl of chicken soup. ... Able to leap tall yarmulkes in a single bound. ... Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a-- oy vay! It's SuperJew!"

That piece killed in 1966! The kids loved it. Today, Gary and I would be sent to sensitivity counseling and do community service, lugging a litter can and a broom handle with a nail in it.

We'd probably entertain ourselves by crooning "Ebony and Ivory" -- special lyrics, of course....

"SuperJew and Methodist work together in clean-up harmony,
Side by side in our custodial suits..."

Oh, Lord, why don't we?

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