Jewish Journal

Jerry Lewis raps in Yiddish

by Jana Banin, JTA

June 10, 2013 | 11:55 am

Usually when you think of keeping the Yiddish language alive you think theater and literature — not freestyle rap. Especially not freestyle rap performed by a legendary comic like Jerry Lewis.

Yet thanks to TMZ, the world now has grainy smartphone footage footage of the 87-year-old on the set of his new movie “Max Rose,” engaging in a rap battle with Chris La Vrar, of “America’s Got Talent” fame.

It’s unclear what La Vrar was doing there or how the rhyming got started — or if Lewis’ rhymes are in fact actually Yiddish. Either way,  it’s pretty endearing when, after getting rapped at by La Vrar, Lewis shoots back with, “Very good. Very, VERY good … I want to do one now in Jewish.”

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