Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The second of Jerry Lewis' directorial endeavors, The Errand Boy, like its predecessor The Bellboy, is essentially a series of "spot gags," some hilarious, others only moderately amusing. The gossamer-thin plot finds Morty Tashman (Lewis) being hired by the CEO of "Paramutuel Pictures" (Brian Donlevy) to spy on studio employees and report any incidents of wastefulness and sloth. This gives Morty a chance to wander all over the Paramutuel Pictures lot, inadvertently interfering with work in progress, encountering strange characters and inexplicable events, and overall making as much of a nuisance of himself as possible. Some of the better gags include Morty's chaotic behavior at the "wrap party" for a vainglorious movie queen (Iris Adrian); his attempts to eat lunch while a noisy battle scene from a war picture rages all around him; his misguided effort to dub in the singing voice of a tone-deaf actress; the "Mr. Baebrosenthal" bit; and Morty's tete-a-tete in the studio swimming pool with a scuba diver. The weakest scenes involve Morty's sugary encounters with the Ritts Puppets, and a smug curtain speech about the importance of laughmakers in this troubled world. The huge supporting cast includes such reliable chucklemeisters as Howard McNear, Sig Ruman, Milton Frome, Benny Rubin, Fritz Feld, Doodles Weaver, Joey Forman, Dick Wesson and Joe Besser; also making fleeting appearances are actress/writer/director Renee Taylor, veteran movie tough guy Mike Mazurki (in drag!), silent film comic Snub Pollard, and the four stars from TV's Bonanza. Even non-Jerry Lewis fans will come down with a case of loose chuckles while watching The Errand Boy.
movie-studio, spy, actor, filmmaker, film-set, film-student, lunch, swimming-pool