“When you rule by fear, laughter is the most frightening sound in the world.”
In 2002, I bought an ORIGINAL script of “The Day the Clown Cried” on Ebay, which had belonged to Fred Skidmore, Jerry Lewis’ publicist at the time.
“In February 1972 he and his new publicist, Fred Skidmore, flew to Stockholm to see to pre-productions chores. They went to Germany and Poland to visit the sites of concentration camps. And they went to Paris, where Jerry shot some material for the film while performing with the Bouglione Cirque d’Hiver and saw to his theatre business. (France’s first Jerry Lewis Cinema opened in March 1972).” (from “King of Comedy” by Shawn Levy)
The script was dated MARCH 1972, was signed by Skidmore, and contained his notations of the actors playing the various roles and other production details. It was his personal script as he travelled with Lewis! Not only that, it was the FINAL DRAFT !!!!
Many of the scenes were seriously modified or even eliminated, and the poorly written elements of the earlier rough draft were now gone. In addition (believe it or not), the ending was MUCH more horrific and blunt!! No clowning this time, just the truth … and told not through image, but SOUND. The final draft is brilliant.
I had bought the screenplay for about $25.00 (postage and merchant services fees included). The Ebay seller didnt realize what a historic find he had, and his auction blended in with other sellers who were offering copies of the more common First Draft (that was available on this site for free). So fortunately, I was the only person that noticed it’s true value.
I transcribed the screenplay to publish here along with the other one, then I resold it on Ebay several months later for over $250.00 to a classic stand-up comedian (who shall remain nameless here). The original script possibly still resides in his personal collection, but I have also heard from reliable sources that it has made the rounds of various well-known celebrities there, including Joe Piscopo. I am very proud of the fact that I was the one who made this incredibly rare item available to them.
Here are both drafts of the screenplay:
ARE THE “CLOWN CRIED” SCREENPLAYS GOOD OR BAD?