Comedian and Actor Jerry Lewis Dead at 91

Jerry Lewis, the legendary actor and comedian, has died, his talent agency said Sunday. He was 91.
Lewis's agent Jeff Witjas confirmed that he died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"He was surrounded by loved ones," added his publicist Nancy Kane, who said Lewis died Sunday morning.

The multi-faceted star became known as the funnier half of slapstick comedy duo Martin and Lewis, which he formed with singer Dean Martin. The two talents began their partnership at the legendary 500 Club in Atlantic City in 1946 before hitting the big time at New York City's Copacabana Club. 

The two — Martin the Casanova and Lewis the clown — would go on to produce a number of movies through the late 1940s and early 1950s, including "My Friend Irma," "The Caddy," "The Stooge" and "Pardners." In total, the pair made 17 movies together, all of them considered box-office hits at the time.

They even enjoyed hosting an NBC series, known as "The Colgate Comedy Hour," from 1950 to 1955. Lewis was only 24 when the show began.

However, the two split in 1956 after the release of the film "Hollywood or Bust," ending the legendary 10-year partnership. 

But the popular and ever-zany entertainer would go on to enjoy a long solo film and stage career, signing one of the most lucrative film contracts of the day — $10 million over seven years. 

Paramount also provided him complete control, a rarity at the time, allowing him to write and direct as well as act in his many hit movies through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including "The Nutty Professor," "The Bellboy" and "The Ladies Man."

Lewis was best known for his cross-eyed character, known as "The Idiot." A na├»ve, loose cannon who bumbled his way to victory, Lewis’s lovable loser performances would go on to influence numerous actors and comedians. 

That fool was no dummy," actor Jim Carrey wrote on Twitter. "Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was!"

He would go on to make more than 30 movies solo, though their popularity began to ebb and he became known for his crankiness and difficult nature at times.

In 1994, he took his talents to Broadway, where he landed a leading role in as the devil in "Damn Yankees," becoming the highest paid Broadway actor at the time — reportedly earning an unheard of $40,000 a week.

Yet he never strayed too far from Hollywood, continuing to star in films. His final appearance was as the title character in the 2016 drama "Max Rose."

His passion for performance was also showcased on behalf of charitable causes. Lewis was a well-known advocate for muscular dystrophy research, hosting his famous Labor Day telethons from 1966 until 2010.

The Telethons for “Jerry’s kids” are credited with raising approximately $2.5 billion for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during Lewis’s 54-year tenure as its host. The first broadcast, a 16-and-a-half hour affair in 1966, was only aired by a single New York City television station — yet it still brought in more than $1 million for the MDA.

Lewis received no pay for the event, according to the MDA, which ended the telethons five years after Lewis' departure.

Later in life, children’s issues also became a focus, which led to the advent of “Jerry’s House” — an organization that hoped to help ill, disabled, traumatized and disabled children through therapy and humor.

A number of comedians, actors and stars said they were saddened by the news and toasted the longtime star.

Overseas Film Sales Are Saving Hollywood From a Terrible Summer

Photographer: Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
By Anousha Sakoui
The duds just keep coming this summer in North America, from “The Mummy” to “Alien: Covenant” to “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The season has been what critics politely call lackluster for Hollywood studios -- but don’t expect them to stop churning out more bombs.

That’s because as badly as so many franchise films and reboots have done in the world’s biggest cinema market, they’ve racked up solid ticket sales elsewhere. Theater-goers in America thought Paramount Pictures’ fifth “Transformers” was pretty much a yawner, but in China they liked it. And No. 6 is already in the works.

“Look at the casualties just this summer,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a Los Angeles-based analyst for ComScore Inc. “If they only had North America, it would be a monumental disaster for the studios.”

For now at least, the rest of the world -- China in particular -- is supporting Hollywood’s love affair with series, sequels and rehashes like “The Mummy,” Universal Pictures’ new take on a story that’s been told dozens of times. The risk is that sequel fatigue will set in overseas too. Chinese moviegoers are becoming more choosy, and the fastest-growing film market is slowing down. That’s a challenge for studios such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., which plan and schedule movies years in advance.

Jonathan Papish, an analyst for China Film Insider, described as a “disaster” the $250 million that “Transformers: The Last Knight” is projected to record in the world’s most-populous country. The reason: the previous version from Viacom Inc.’s film division pulled in 17 percent more, “a worrisome sign for both Paramount and other Hollywood studios who have become far too complacent thinking that Chinese audiences will swallow whatever garbage they shove down their throats.”
This “Transformers” opening in China, at least, was about 30 percent bigger than the opening for the previous one, according to Box Office Mojo.

Not every sequel or franchise entry has fallen flat in North America, of course. “Wonder Woman,” Warner Bros.’ fourth episode in the DC Extended Universe series, has taken in $346 million domestically and is one of the year’s top films. Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” topped the box office for two weeks and has taken in $383 million domestically.

And there are some big-hitters coming. Sony Corp.’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is expected to take in $301 million in North America after its release this weekend, according to 

“War for Planet of the Apes,” out July 14 from 21st Century Fox Inc., could grab $165 million.

But the second-quarter domestic box office ended down 3.6 percent from a year ago at $2.7 billion, Barton Crockett, an analyst at FBR & Co., said in a note. He blamed disappointing sequels; even with a better-than-expected “Wonder Woman,” he predicts a 15 percent decline for the third quarter.

Chinese box-office sales fell in June, as local movies as well as Hollywood imports failed to meet expectations. This month, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC pushed back its forecast for China’s movie market to overtake the U.S. to 2021 from 2017.

This weekend, Universal’s “Despicable Me 3” will test the Chinese market, after opening in first place in 44 out of 46 countries, according to data from the film division of Comcast Corp. A new installment in another Universal series, “The Fate of the Furious,” enjoyed strong demand in China, taking in $393 million there earlier this year.

Even with big budget films flopping at home, movies can earn money for years to come from digital downloads and sales to Netflix Inc. and other streaming sites and cable-television channels. The latest -- and last -- “Pirates of the Caribbean” may have missed expectations when it came out May 26, but it could end up generating a net profit of $219 million, according to an estimate from Wade Holden, analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

That hasn’t stopped some analysts from complaining that studios have focused too much on making big-budget features.

“There is an over reliance on sequels,” said Richard Greenfield, a media and technology analyst at BTIG LLC. The major studios “are so worried about investing in an unknown property that they are all just relying on sequels and hoping that sequels will save them.”

While Disney has had tremendous success, Greenfield said it’s not bullet-proof. “The danger is that investors are essentially assuming that a movie like ‘Star Wars’ will be successful forever.”

As much as any studio, Disney has tied its future to sequels and remakes. The company’s 2017 schedule includes eight films, of which six fit that profile, according to Box Office Mojo.

Disney said its strategy sets it apart from the competition -- in 2016 its film business had its most profitable year ever. Other studios trying to ape it have had less success. Sony, for example, tried and failed to refresh its 1984 hit “Ghostbusters” last year in the hope that it could spawn a new series.

In any event, many future slates are laden with new installments of existing worlds of characters. 21st Century Fox and Sony, which license Marvel characters, are planning more “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” chapters.

Disney has laid out several years worth of Marvel superhero offerings and at least a six-picture series of “Star Wars” movies. Meanwhile, the company is revisiting “Mary Poppins” and “Mulan.”

“Studios are rushing these sequels,” said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co. “If you want to get the domestic audience back, you’ve got to do something a little outside the box.”

Gregg Allman, Southern Rock Pioneer, Dies at 69

US Media Publications Ranking April 2017, Drudge Report beats Google, CNN & Washington Post!

The latest SimilarWeb US Media Publications ranking is here!

April showers were not the only things falling this month as the top 100 websites received 3.9% fewer total pageviews compared to March 2017. Within the heavily concentrated upper tier there was little movement with the top five websites attracting 35% of all traffic to the top 100 in April 2017.

Notable changes in SimilarWeb Ranking

Four new websites entered the top 100 in April this year:,, and Correspondingly, these were the websites that left the top 100:,, and

The Drudge report came in third, beating Google, Cnn & Washington Post.

It was a good month for the Fusion Media Group as seven of its websites saw an increase in the rankings. The Onion’s sister publication,, saw the largest increase jumping 69 positions from 119 to 50 thanks to drastic increase in engagement (pages/visit) that almost tripled compared to the previous month (174% growth in desktop pages/visit and 47% increase in mobile web pages/visit). The article named “What’s the worst movie you ever saw in the theatre?” was by far the most popular content on the website in April.

Financial news and services website was the second biggest winner in April moving up 17 places similarly due to increased engagement with improved pages per visit. The most search stock for the website in April was Rolls Royce.

It was also a great month for which closed the month 16 places higher than in March. Once again the driving force behind this increase was engagement, with the number of desktop pages per visit improving from 6.01 to 7.08. The most viewed article on the site for April was their rundown of new releases for Netflix, “Everything Coming To Netflix In May“.

Top Non-Branded Keywords

While PotUS continues to be a key draw for news sites, April was a busy month with stories about United Airlines, Bill O’Reilly and the ill-fated Fyre Festival grabbing the public’s attention. Here are the top ten non-branded keywords driving traffic to US media publications in April 2017:

  1. trump
  2. united airlines
  3. north korea
  4. donald trump
  5. syria
  6. aaron hernandez
  7. bill o’reilly
  8. fyre festival
  9. united
  10. russia

Based on the combination of desktop and website traffic in April 2017, the top 100 media publications ranking looks like this:

US Media Publications by Pageviews, April 2017

Domains Rank in April 2017 Rank in March 2017 Monthly Change Combined Pageviews 1 1 0 1764.4 M 2 2 0 1393.4 M 3 3 0 1248.2 M 4 4 0 1165.8 M 5 6 1 841.0 M 6 5 -1 827.9 M 7 7 0 741.4 M 8 8 0 671.4 M 9 9 0 538.0 M 10 11 1 481.4 M 11 10 -1 446.1 M 12 12 0 351.4 M 13 13 0 321.5 M 14 14 0 260.1 M 15 16 1 259.0 M 16 15 -1 251.0 M 17 17 0 235.6 M 18 19 1 219.8 M 19 18 -1 218.2 M 20 32 12 165.2 M 21 22 1 156.3 M 22 28 6 144.3 M 23 26 3 142.1 M 24 25 1 139.0 M 25 21 -4 131.0 M 26 33 7 129.8 M 27 30 3 123.3 M 28 24 -4 118.7 M 29 20 -9 118.6 M 30 38 8 118.2 M 31 27 -4 116.4 M 32 31 -1 114.6 M 33 34 1 113.2 M 34 23 -11 110.8 M 35 37 2 107.3 M 36 29 -7 107.1 M 37 40 3 106.9 M 38 39 1 104.4 M 39 43 4 98.3 M 40 35 -5 97.9 M 41 44 3 93.1 M 42 42 0 92.9 M 43 45 2 91.6 M 44 41 -3 83.2 M 45 52 7 80.6 M 46 49 3 80.6 M 47 36 -11 79.1 M 48 48 0 77.6 M 49 47 -2 74.9 M 50 119 69 73.8 M 51 55 4 72.2 M 52 46 -6 71.8 M 53 68 15 69.7 M 54 69 15 67.9 M 55 63 8 67.1 M 56 53 -3 66.4 M 57 50 -7 65.1 M 58 64 6 65.0 M 59 56 -3 62.8 M 60 76 16 61.1 M 61 59 -2 61.0 M 62 60 -2 60.3 M 63 51 -12 59.6 M 64 54 -10 59.4 M 65 67 2 59.4 M  66 62 -4 58.5 M 67 58 -9 58.2 M 68 85 17 53.7 M 69 79 10 53.6 M 70 70 0 53.6 M 71 80 9 53.3 M 72 73 1 53.0 M 73 77 4 52.4 M 74 66 -8 52.4 M 75 91 16 52.1 M 76 90 14 52.1 M 77 78 1 51.8 M 78 75 -3 51.8 M 79 57 -22 51.3 M 80 74 -6 50.2 M 81 72 -9 49.9 M 82 81 -1 48.7 M 83 98 15 48.4 M 84 71 -13 48.4 M 85 83 -2 48.3 M 86 89 3 48.2 M 87 65 -22 46.7 M 88 84 -4 46.5 M 89 97 8 46.4 M 90 82 -8 46.3 M 91 61 -30 45.5 M 92 94 2 44.1 M 93 95 2 43.0 M 94 93 -1 42.9 M 95 103 8 42.8 M 96 88 -8 42.6 M 97 99 2 42.3 M 98 96 -2 42.0 M 99 107 8 41.6 M 100 102 2 41.0 M