The Nutty Professor movie: Jerry Lewis’ zany double role in the classic comedy from 1963

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The vintage Nutty Professor movie with Jerry Lewis (1963)

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The Nutty Professor is considered one of the best Jerry Lewis movies — and any accolades certainly belonged to him, being that he starred, directed and co-wrote the film.

Here’s a look back at this classic comedy movie from the sixties, in which he played a Jekyll and Hyde character, meaning he had twice the opportunity to play up his screwball style to great effect.

His co-star in this collegiate adventure was the beautiful actress Stella Stevens (who had also been the Playmate of the Month three year earlier).

Review: Jerry Lewis in “The Nutty Professor” movie (1963)

The Tyler Courier-Times (Tyler, Texas) June 9, 1963

After emerging triumphant from his recent encounter with law enforcement in “It’s Only Money,” filmdom’s most notorious screwball, Jerry Lewis, now takes a good healthy swipe at education as it is practiced at a large American university.

Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor movie (1963)

The hilarious result is “The Nutty Professor” in Technicolor, co-starring Stella Stevens.

Such a task was evidently too big for one Jerry Lewis, because he plays two roles in this new comedy.

His assignment was to play a modern day, ivy-league Jekyll and a Hyde character. This is noteworthy because it is the first time Lewis has ever enacted two roles in the same movie.

“The Nutty Professor” begins with Jerry Lewis in the title role as Julius Kelp, Professor of Chemistry and the dizziest educator in the world.

Kelp’s most significant contribution to the university is the fact that he continually blows up the chemistry laboratory with his unorthodox experiments.

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The Nutty Professor movie poster (1960s)

He is kind of a caricature of the college professor — he is very tweedy, extremely meek, has bucked teeth, wears clothes out of style 20 years ago, and is about as ineffectual as it is possible for a human being to be.

His students have absolutely no regard for his professorial status, and continually play practical jokes on him, like stuffing him in closets and lifting him by the scuff of his neck.

One student, however, does see something wholesome and fine in her professor. She is Stella Stevens, who is bright, personable, extremely attractive, and in fact, the epitome of what a co-ed should be.

She digs her goofy chemistry professor, but is too shy to express her feelings to him or her friends.

Jerry Lewis as Buddy Love in the Nutty Professor movie (1963)

One evening while working in his laboratory, the good professor discovers a chemical potion that turns him from the failure that he is into a dynamic, swashbuckling character who he names Buddy Love.

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Buddy Love soon excites the imagination of the campus with his wit and charm, and begins to campaign for the love of Stella Stevens.

Vintage actor Jerry Lewis as The Nutty Professor (1960s movie)

Unfortunately, whenever the love-making becomes interesting, the potion wears off, and Buddy Love has to dash back to the laboratory before he becomes Julius Kelp.

This situation permits Jerry Lewis to run riot — mainly because he directed the film and wrote the script.

In acting out two parts, he has twice the opportunity to be funny, making “The Nutty Professor” a unique Jerry Lewis movie.

Nutty Professor movie with Jerry Lewis (1963)



Movie trailer for “The Nutty Professor” (1960s)

“Please do not reveal the middle of this picture!”


Jerry Lewis as “The Nutty Professor” discovers Planters (1963)

Jerry Lewis is nuts about nuts — especially Planters new Dry Roasted Cashews and new Dry Roasted Mixed Nuts… dry roasted with absolutely no fats, and so crisp and crunchy.

For all-out crunchiness, Jerry goes for Planters Old Fashioned Peanut Candy — one of America’s favorite confections.

ALSO SEE: Vintage peanut butter brands: How many brands of crunchy & smooth deliciousness do you remember?

Sometimes Jerry likes the richness of Planters Whole Cashews. But when he’s in an “ole” mood, Jerry reaches for Planters Spanish Redskins. These are Jerry Lewis’s special Planters favorites… how many have you tried?

Jerry Lewis as The Nutty Professor for Planters nuts (1963)

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