The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Analysis of Latest Developments in the Scott Peterson Trial; Interview With Jerry Lewis

Aired November 8, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, could be looking at a hung jury in the Scott Peterson trial. Why did the judge order the jury back into court on their fourth day of deliberations and remind them on the need to keep an open mind.

We'll ask Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, the jury consultant who worked with Peterson's defense.

And Howard Varinsky, the jury consultant who worked with the prosecution.

Plus CNN's Ted Rowlands on top of the story from day one.

Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor.

High profile defense attorney Chris Pixley.

Richard Cole covering the trial every day for the "Daily News Group."

And Justin Falconer, the former Peterson juror dismissed from the panel five months ago.

And then, the one and only Jerry Lewis. His genius for physical comedy has brought him 37 years of chronic agony, had him wanting once to kill himself. How did that finally end the torture. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: All that ahead, Jerry Lewis later, a special election result later, too, that's going to flip you.

But right now lets get right into what went on today.

Ted Rowlands, what went on today?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a busy day as the jury continued to deliberate. At one point late this morning, the judge ordered the jury back into the courtroom and reread them some of the original instructions that they were given before they began their deliberations, specifically, the judge told them that they did have to keep an open mind. That they had to not an advocate for one side, but had to analyze each fact and have it backed up with evidence. What prompted this is unclear. Obviously, there is a problem with deliberations.

At some point, to say we're headed to a hung jury is most likely, I think premature here as the jury continues to asks for more evidence. And they continue to deliberate. But clearly, there's an issue that the judge wanted to address today by rereading this. As soon as the jury left the courtroom, the judge instructed the lawyers, that the next time there's a problem or an issue with deliberations, he's going to read them people vs. Moore, which is the California version of the dynamite instruction.

Basically, it is advice for the jurors, role play, do other things to help them through the deliberation process. So clearly, there's a problem. The jury started today by viewing Scott Peterson's boat in a garage, adjacent to the courthouse here and there was an issue with that. Two jurors at least, got into the boat and one of them apparently actually rocked the boat back and forth. Geragos objected to that later in a hearing, special hearing this morning. He asked the judge to allow him to introduce a videotape of his lawyers conducting their own experiment in the San Francisco Bay. And a source close to the case says, in that videotape, one of the lawyers actually falls into the water and capsizes the boat. So, a very busy day here, but the headline, potential problems with the deliberation.

KING: Jo-Ellan, a jury veteran, what do you read into this?

JO-ELLAN DIMITRIUS, JURY EXPERT: I think as both Howard and I talked about on Friday, this jury is -- there are people on both sides of the fence. And I think what happened at the end of the day, from what I understand is that the jury asked for 30 additional pieces of evidence. What I'm guessing probably happened is that whatever jurors were on, whichever side, they're looking for information they can argue to their fellow jurors. This is what I'm basing my decision on, so that they can try to in some ways do, what actually happens in the dynamite charge, which is to try to convince the other people to come over to their way of thinking.

KING: When is -- isn't a juror supposed to have surgery?

DIMITRIUS: There is a juror that's supposed to have surgery. My understanding is that her surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, so tomorrow would be her last day.

KING: Then what?

DIMITRIUS: I'm sure the judge is going to ask the juror whether or not she would like to remain on.

KING: And if she can't?

DIMITRIUS: Well, if she can't then the jury starts all over again with replacement -- with alternate number one.

KING: Howard Varinsky, what do you read into all this? HOWARD VARINSKY, JURY CONSULTANT: You know, first of all, all juries have to kind of reenact a scene. One of the first things they do when they get back in, is they go through the motions. They'll handle the gun. They'll handle the knife. They'll take parts in the play. So, they have to see for themselves, and that's part of the reason that they -- that they wanted to see the boat. So, They're Putting it back together for themselves, so they can see and get a sense how it went. I think they're discussing it methodically. Obviously, there's a conflict in the jury. We don't know if it's one or we don't know if it's more than one against the rest.

KING: All right. And Nancy Grace, if there is that conflict, what resolves it?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I think it's a good sign that the jury is requesting more of the evidence. And you know, Larry, in a lot of jurisdictions all the evidence goes back with the jury at the get-go and therefore you don't know every time they pick up a picture or every time they want to play the recorded tape, for instance the Amber Frey tapes.

That's not allowed here. They only get the evidence when they specifically request a certain piece of evidence. Regarding this morning, when jury wanted to see the boat, Larry, I predicted that right here to you last night they didn't want to just look at it, they wanted to get in it, on it, around it, under it and they did. Not grounds for a mistrial. Also, regarding jury number 11, the lady juror. The accountant, Larry, sits front and center, it's my understanding that she has rescheduled her elective surgery, so we don't have to worry about losing that juror.

KING: Chris Pixley, what does this all say to you?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think it's -- it is still early and obviously they are deliberating. But I think there are some signs that they're beginning to hang. And that's not unusual in cases of this kind. In my experience there are really two cases where you're going to get a hung jury, complex cases and cases where there's largely circumstantial evidence. You've got both of those things going in this case. And it really comes down to whether the judge is going to be able to influence the jury through these instructions that he's giving anew, the reinstruction of their duty to deliberate, that they need to go back and work together on all of the evidence. I think when you get signs this early, that at least one of the jurors isn't working together, that that's cause for concern.

KING: Richard Cole, hypothetically, if this jury is 6-6 or 7-5, that judge is going to have a lot of convincing to do, right?

RICHARD COLE, "REDWOOD CITY DAILY NEWS": Yes. He's already told us he'll give the Moore instruction that Ted Referred to. And then if they come back again, he has another instruction set for them. He's -- he's going to dig in his heels and he's going to try to get them to come to an agreement. Know I a lot of people who are close to this case say, oh, let's not get excited about hanging yet, this is more of a personality clash kind of an issue. But what struck me was the looks on the faces of the jurors when we saw them file into court. This has been, as we have said before, a happy, joking, garrulous kind of jury. They chatting with each other. And today, they were glum, they were grim, when they walked into that -- into the courtroom and got their instructions. And they were grim when they walked out. And that gave me chills. Up until now I kept thinking, well yes, there might be some differences, this panel has worked together and played together, I think they'll come to an agreement. But the looks on their faces, I thought, were very, very negative in that courtroom. And I kind of agreeing a little bit with, Pix, this is not -- this is not a good sign. This is -- this is not heading in the best direction. But it was good that by the end of the day, they're asking for more evidence. I think Nancy is right on that one. At least they're trying -- they're still trying.

KING: Let me get a break and come right back. We'll have a few moments with Justin Falconer, one of the jurors let off this trial, dismissed from this case. And back to the panel, Jerry Lewis, at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To constitute a deliberate premeditated killing, the slayer must weigh and consider the question of killing and the reasons for and against such a choice, and having in mind the consequences he decides to and does kill.



KING: Let's spend a few moments now with Justin Falconer in Kansas City, the former juror was dismissed after he was seen making comments to Laci Peterson's brother. At the time of his dismissal he said he wouldn't have been able to convict. What do you make of the developments since, Justin?

JUSTIN FALCONER, FMR. PETERSON JUROR #5: I think it's pretty interesting listening to Richard and Nancy earlier that the jury has taken such a downturn in their morale. That does show that there are some problems back there. Because when I was there, everybody was pretty happy with each other and we all got along. And everybody was pretty talkative and outgoing. So that's not good.

KING: Do you look at this, Justin, as a 50/50 matter, could go either way? How do you see it?

FALCONER: I do. I think there's, like, three or four people in there that probably are sticking to their guns. Which way they're going, I don't know. The majority could be looking to acquit but there could be a couple of holdouts for guilty. I don't know. But I think it's interesting though that there are some people that are that passionate about their position, and they don't even want to deliberate. I think that's, you know, definitely not a good thing. I'm sure they'll work it out and I'm sure the judge -- Delucchi is a good judge and I'm sure he'll have something to say and he'll get them in line. KING: Have you heard from anyone involved in the case, anyone at all since you left it?

FALCONER: Like the jury?

KING: Yes. Anybody.

FALCONER: No. I haven't spoken to anybody. The media is the most -- that's where I get my information from, people like Nancy and Richard.

KING: What did you make of Scott Peterson? Did you get a read on him?

FALCONER: I focused on him a lot. I was watching him. I watched his reactions to certain things. I think you can tell a lot about some people when you watch them and pay attention to them. I really did watch Scott, especially when people were really hammering on him. Seeing his reaction to certain things. He's very involved in his defense. He seemed confident in some things. To watch his reactions and watch how he acted, like when the pictures of Conner would come up or Laci, you pay attention to that and you also pay attention to the family, at the time, sitting right next to me. You're paying attention to all those things.

KING: Ted Rowlands, any buzz around the courthouse? Are they betting, hung jury now?

ROWLANDS: It's really tough to quantify because of the situation where this morning the judge is rereading these instructions and by the afternoon, the jurors are back at it and they're asking for more evidence. Who knows what's going to happen here. Of course there's a lot of folks in the media with a lot of time on their hands as they wait for the verdict. Everything has been predicted, as you can imagine. Now the big question, now, when is this jury going to make a decision and if this jury is going to make a decision.

KING: Nancy, at this point, from a prosecution standpoint, would you describe yourself as disappointed, no opinion?

GRACE: Absolutely not disappointed. Let me clarify my position. I do not see this jury as being downbeat, not in any sense of the word. Another thing, for anybody on this panel that's ever actually tried murder cases, the jury would be crazy if they didn't want to see the evidence. I would be concerned if the jury didn't want to hear these Amber Frey tapes, did not want to see that chart where Scott Peterson was mapping out where he was going fishing that day. You expect the jury, you want the jury to look at the evidence, argue over the evidence, get to know the evidence. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this. This is what they're supposed to be doing.

KING: So nothing's happened that would affect you in any way at all?

GRACE: One thing. One thing. That judge's charge this morning and I have it verbatim, where he's basically telling one of the jurors, I have a good idea who it may be, let's just say somebody needs to be deep sixed off the jury, telling them, don't go into the jury deliberations full of pride, where you get an opinion at the get- go and you won't give in to other people reasoning with you. That's a concern but not unusual.

KING: Who said agh to that?

FALCONER: I did. I'm sorry. Nancy, I think you got six wrong. I think if there's somebody holding out stubborn I think you're going to be surprised at who it is.

GRACE: Oh, really, and how would you know that, Mr. Falconer unless you have been in touch with number 6.

FALCONER: Actually I sat next to him in court...

KING: Maybe he knows him better than you.

FALCONER: Yes, I know him a lot better than you...

GRACE: Maybe or maybe you have been talking to him.

FALCONER: I don't think -- no, Nancy, I haven't been talking to him but I did sit next to him for four weeks and I do know him better than you, and I don't think he's who you're thinking.

DIMITRIUS: I'll come to Justin's defense.

KING: How so?

DIMITRIUS: I'll come to Justin's defense. I don't think it's juror number deep six. I think that there's another juror that everyone's been talking about that would be no surprise to anybody who that individual is.

FALCONER: She knows exactly who I'm talking about.

KING: Since that's the question, why can't you tell us?

DIMITRIUS: Well, everybody's referring to him -- I believe his number is juror number 8.

FALCONER: Exactly. Thank you very much.

GRACE: No way.


FALCONER: Hey, Nancy. Let me tell you this right now, too, and I'll say this right here that when everything does open up, there was complaints against juror number 8 from the other jurors. So this is not -- I've been watching your reporting and hearing what you've been saying. It's not been accurate.

GRACE: How long were you on the jury, Justin?

FALCONER: A lot longer than you were, Nancy.

GRACE: True. You got me on that one.

KING: Nancy, at least admit, admit that he may know them better than you.

GRACE: It hurts, but I think you're right.

KING: What do you think of this juror number 8 thing, Howard?

VARINSKY: I don't make anything of it because I don't think any of us really know who's hanging it, if anybody is hanging it, who's the obstinate one. Let me make a comment about what Justin said, about they're all looking grim. How would you like to be held prisoner in a hotel over the weekend, you can only watch certain movies, you can't get any phone calls, you're under guard. Of course, you'd come in looking grim. That doesn't have anything to do with anything. It could be because of the sequestration.

KING: Chris Pixley, it has to be a lot of stress, right?

PIXLEY: Absolutely. This is not a fun time for the jurors. In the same way it's not a fun time for the families. Yes, they're going through all of the evidence. Nancy's right about that. The problem is the amount of evidence. 174 witnesses, hundreds of documents. And if ultimately there is a hung jury and I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that there is a problem when the judge has to call them back in within a matter of day to re-instruct them on the duty to deliberate. If they ultimately do hang-up, I think the prosecution is going to have to ask itself, did we overtry this case, did we present so much evidence that it was impossible for the jury to take it in?

We give jurors an impossible task as it is, Larry. We strive to get people who know nothing about the case, we let them watch the case during the day but we don't let them study it at night, we don't let them talk about it with anyone and then after weeks or months as in this case, having seen hundreds of witnesses and thousands of pieces of evidence, we expect them to understand it all, and there's absolutely no way they possibly can. Is it possible for this jury to be hanging up over all of the minutia? Absolutely. Anybody that says otherwise -- again, these are all predictions but anyone who says otherwise has some crystal ball that the rest of us are missing.

KING: Richard, you agree?

COLE: I definitely agree in part. One thing I wanted to dispute a little bit with Howard, although I have the greatest respect for him and I want him to know that, we've seen this jury a lot, and we saw them last week when they were sequestered. We saw them going in and out of the courthouse into the van that brings them to their hotel, they were laughing, joking, happy, and whatever. I don't think that they just changed over the weekend simply because they were being sequestered. They were sequestered last week for several days and they were still the same happy jury. We were told by a lot of people who were listening to them that they were laughing and joking. That's gone. As of today that is gone. I don't think it happened over the weekend because they got tired of watching football games and old movies. I think it happened because there's a split on that jury or at least there is very great tension among some of the jurors. Now which ones it is, I can't say for sure.

KING: Justin, you want to make a prediction?

FALCONER: I'm either going with hung or an acquittal. With the way things are going right now, I going to have to go with hung. These people are very intelligent and they're very set, I think, in their ways. And I think after sitting five months, they're probably very passionate about their position and I don't think they're going to give it up easily, especially if there's not the evidence to show otherwise. This whole case is speculation, which is tremendously difficult for all of us. It's, we think he did it this way, we think he did it like that, we think she died this way, we think she ended up. The only thing solid they have is the fact that Laci did wash up where she did and Scott did place himself there, but even that's speculation as to how she got there. It's difficult to say either way.

KING: Thank you, Justin. Good seeing you again. Justin Falconer. We'll come back with our panel, take a few phone calls as well and then Jerry Lewis. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Dr. Phil is the due guest tomorrow night. I imagine we'll be doing more on this case as well.

Let's take a call. Carrolton, Kentucky. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. I wanted to ask the panel, if there is a retrial, will the trial be in Redwood City again and will Geragos be the defense attorney? Thank you.

KING: Jo-Ellan?

DIMITRIUS: You know, I don't know the answer to either one of those questions. I'm sure that whether Mark has it or someone else has it, clearly they don't want it to be in Modesto, and clearly there was a change of venue in the first trial. I don't know whether or not Mark would be part of a retrial.

KING: Nancy, in a case like this, when it's over if it's hung, is the jury polled?

GRACE: Yeah. They get polled routinely. Either side can ask for the polling. That's also SOP, standard operating procedure, when there is a verdict. One way or the other. Because, Larry, I have actually seen a juror crack during the polling process -- they're polled individually -- the juror cracked, they had to go back into the jury room and start deliberating again. So whichever side is unhappy with the verdict or the outcome, they will ask the jury to be polled.

KING: Modesto, California, hello. CALLER: Hi. My question is, how many times can there be a hung jury? And if there is a hung jury, there's no way they would let Scott come back to Modesto, is there?

KING: Ted?

ROWLANDS: Well, I'm not sure how many times they can try it. I know that it's up to the prosecution. Well, first, it's up to the judge. He has to give the OK for prosecutors to refile charges. And could he come back to Modesto? Well, for sure, he will be -- he's still a possession of Stanislaus County, if you will. He will most likely stay here if there is a hung jury until they figure out what they're going to do with it. And whoever is representing Scott Peterson will most likely try to get the trial moved to Los Angeles as their first order of business. What happens there, we'll have to see how it plays out.

KING: Jo-Ellan, what do you learn from a hung jury?

DIMITRIUS: Well, from a hung jury, if you're allowed to talk to the jurors after the fact, you could talk to them about what was believable, what wasn't believable. And that is...

KING: Help your next case?

DIMITRIUS: Absolutely. And that is something that's done in almost every trial.

KING: Why wouldn't you be allowed to talk to them?

DIMITRIUS: Well, because the judge generally will give the jurors the charge that they have the right to either talk to whomever they want to, or not talk to...

KING: First Amendment.

DIMITRIUS: Absolutely. So whether or not they choose to speak to one side or the other of course is their own decision.

KING: Howard, how important is it to you to talk to jurors after a hung jury?

VARINSKY: I mean, it's a font of information. And then you have the actual trial jurors to talk to. I mean, you find out what the conflicts were in the jumper, what they bought, what they didn't buy. I mean, you can correct a lot of mistakes next time around, make a lot of adjustments based on what you hear jurors talk about.

KING: Nancy, you learn a lot from that process?

GRACE: Well, Larry, I've never had a hung jury. I've had one mistrial, where I called the defendant a "pimp" in the opening statement and I had to retry with a whole new jury because of that. But I've never had a hung jury. But I've always questioned jurors after a trial to find out what was effective and what was not effective. And also, let me clarify one thing. The prosecution, if there is a hung jury here, jury can't reach a verdict, doesn't have to get any judge's approval to retry this case. Listen, if we waited for judges to approve a trial, forget about it. They want everything settled like a ladies' tea party. It doesn't happen that way. You go to trial and you butt heads. And there will be a retrial if there is a hung jury in this case.

KING: Chris?

PIXLEY: Well, you know, as far as polling the jury, you know, I think it's as fundamental as why we actually conduct mock trials. You know, there's great value in going through the evidence and sifting through it thoroughly and then asking jurors, whether there are actual jurors who were ultimately hung up or jurors that you paid to sit through your presentation and a viable presentation of the other side. We do it all the time. We spend a lot of money doing it. And there's a reason. We try to get an understanding not just of juror attitudes going in, but what actually influenced them. And time and again, it's not the things that you think will. Jurors seize on different points.

And that really I think is the strength of the defense in this case. When Mark Geragos closed, there was a lot of criticism of how he closed and the way he organized his closing statement. But he was really all over the map. He had so many different points to present to jurors that they can hang on to if they want to acquit Scott Peterson. A lot of different points, a lot of different ideas. I think it still is the weakness of the prosecution's case that they covered so much ground.

KING: All right, Richard Cole, do you think we are going to have a hung jury?

COLE: You know, a week or so, I would have said no. I'm just less certain about that. I think today was a very bad sign. I -- and I think I can answer one, I think if there is a retrial, I don't believe that Mark Geragos will be doing it. There's financial issues, there's issues with his practice. He's been way up in Northern California for six months, and that doesn't help him out a lot down where his practice is based in Southern California.

KING: I think we'll probably be seeing all of you tomorrow, along with Dr. Phil. Thanks very much. We'll take a break. And my man, Jer, is next. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A defendant in a criminal action is presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved. In the case of a reasonable doubt whether his guilt is satisfactorily shown, he is entitled to a verdict of not guilty.

This presumption places upon the people the burden of proving him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


KING: It's our new pen, the Jerry Lewis pen. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pen here.


KING: Jerry Lewis, the one and only, an entertainment original. It's always good to welcome him. The L.A. Film Critics Association is giving Jerry its lifetime achievement award. It will be presented January 13th at their annual dinner. He has yet to receive a Kennedy Center honor, which is some sort of major mistake they make there in Washington. Another successful telethon, which I was honored to be part of.

But first and foremost, how are you doing?

LEWIS: I feel great. Better every day.

KING: Are you off that drug now?

LEWIS: Yes, I'm off prednisone. Thank God.

KING: How much have you lost?

LEWIS: I've lost 68 pounds.

KING: How much farther do you want to go down?

LEWIS: Another 20.

KING: You're feeling good.

LEWIS: I feel wonderful.

KING: Are you still -- I know that you represent that company, Medtronic?

LEWIS: Medtronic, right.

KING: What do they do, reduce your pain? You're their spokesman.

LEWIS: I'm the world spokesperson.

KING: And what does it do?

LEWIS: What does it do? It helps 75 million people in this country with chronic pain. Larry, there are more suicides from chronic pain than any other reason.

KING: And you contemplated it, did you not?

LEWIS: Yes, I certainly did. I was as close as you can get. And the sad thing about chronic pain is that these people become recluse -- reclusive. They have nowhere to go, nothing to do. They're embarrassed of the pain, they're humiliated at the pain, they're ashamed of the pain.

KING: Why?

LEWIS: There's something about chronic pain that diminishes an individual. That's why.

KING: Where was your pain, in what part of the body?

LEWIS: The base of my spine.

KING: It never went away?

LEWIS: It's still there. But I don't -- I'm pain free, as long as I use my Medtronic pain pacemaker. I have got a battery under my skin. From the battery, I have two electrodes. They go into the spinal column where they cut bone out to accommodate them. I put it on from here. Did you hear that?

KING: Yeah.

LEWIS: It's on. And I am now vibrating throughout my body.

KING: Whoa.

LEWIS: And it's wonderful. I've had an erection for nine months now, to be very honest with you.


LEWIS: And the magnificent thing about this miracle, Larry, is that at the time that the pain was so inexplicable, I would get off the bed with one leg, and I could look at the clock in the master bedroom, and see it took me three minutes to get the other leg off the edge of the bed. And then I had a 100-foot walk to the shower. It would take me four minutes. That was the kind of pain I had. But I had it for 37 years that way.

KING: Are you going to keep on keeping on? Are you going to keep on with the telethon...

LEWIS: Of course.

KING: ... as you lick this disease? Are you working out? Do you still do -- I know you do appearances, right?

LEWIS: Of course. Sure. I follow you in all the speaking engagements.


LEWIS: You were there the week before me, I'm there after you. Yes, it's wonderful.

KING: So you're still enjoying...

LEWIS: Oh, God, I'm one of the speakers on the "Get Motivated" series. I've done four or five for them. Jim Kepplar (ph) is my speaking agent.

KING: You don't need it financially.

LEWIS: No. I love it.

KING: You do...

LEWIS: I get in front of an audience.

KING: You do it for that love?

LEWIS: Oh, God, yes. It keeps me alive, it raises my spirit, my energy, my optimism, my enthusiasm.

KING: You think we will see the end of the MD telethon?

LEWIS: I hope so. They tell me in my lifetime they're going to find a cure. I've reminded them, hurry up.

KING: Will we need embryonic stem cell research?

LEWIS: I don't know that embryonic stem cell research will do any good for dystrophic patients. I really don't know. I would have to -- I would have to guess that if it did, we'd have been involved in it already.

KING: How do you deal with -- it was so hard for me just with Mattie's gone.

LEWIS: Oh, God.

KING: You've seen a lot of kids die.

LEWIS: Oh, God, in 54 years, I have got a list of them.

KING: So how do you ever adjust?

LEWIS: How do I deal with it?

KING: Yeah.

LEWIS: How do they deal with it?

KING: They go.

LEWIS: OK. What complaint could I possibly have when it comes to my dealing with it? I turn their pain and my loss into positive energy. That's how I can do it. I walk on the air, and the thing I have in my mind and my heart is Mattie. I mean, how could God have given us this miracle child and then take it away? I just don't understand it. There are times that I get upset with God, and I talk to him. I don't get a lot of answers, but I have to do it, just to release the pain of losing a child that I've been close to.

KING: Do you ever doubt your belief?

LEWIS: No. Oh, no, I never doubt that there's a supreme being. No, I never doubt that.

KING: Really? With all you've seen, with the pain to yourself?

LEWIS: I wonder...


LEWIS: ... about if they're watching the store and if they're just paying attention to somebody that really needs them. But you know, they're either in Cambodia, taking care of those children or they're over in Australia, making sure that they're paying attention, or whatever the hell they're doing. They're busy up there. I don't know if you can equate what they do and what we see on the planet. I really don't know that.

KING: But you believe they are there?

LEWIS: Oh, I certainly do. All I have to do is say to you, look at Chase (sic).

KING: Chance, you mean?

LEWIS: Yeah, look at him.

KING: Chance and Cannon. They were here before, the boys.

LEWIS: Yeah, Chance. Is that an accident? I mean, that's your son. Look at him. Look at Elizabeth. That came from what? Someone didn't plan that? Come on. That's not an accident. God put us here to...

KING: Procreate.

LEWIS: ... keep it going, to keep the world filled with humans.

KING: How do you think, Jerry -- there's a new book by Peter Bogdanovich about actors. And you are featured in that book, "I Didn't Know They Were in This Movie," or some type of...

LEWIS: Yeah. "Who the Hell Is in It?"

KING: "Who the Hell Is in It?" A great...

LEWIS: Yeah, Peter Bogdanovich, it's the best writing I think he's done.

KING: Oh, he's a wonderful writer and a wonderful director...

LEWIS: Just because my chapter is 75 pages, more than anyone else.

KING: Yeah, I think it's the longest chapter in the book.

LEWIS: Yeah.

KING: And his praise for you as an artist is endless, as is books about you, books (UNINTELLIGIBLE). How do you think you are viewed?

LEWIS: How am I viewed?

KING: Yeah, how -- where is Jerry Lewis' place in the sphere of things? You're getting this major award, lifetime achievement. And the Kennedy Center...

LEWIS: And from a film critics association.

KING: Kennedy Center overlooks you.


KING: The Kennedy Center.

LEWIS: That's their choice.

KING: How do you think you're perceived?

LEWIS: I think I'm perceived by who's doing the perceiving. If it's Mr. and Mrs. Regular People in Chicago, they have got a perception of me and watched me grow up with them. They are baby boomers who are now 50 and 60. They grew up with me and watched me right from the beginning.

Now, we have -- we have Park Avenue. That's another group that perceived me another way. Then, there are people that don't believe in charity that perceive me another way. Then there are people that see that I do something that's extraordinary for children and people with neuromuscular disease, they perceive me another way.

I mean, I am -- I am a dichotomy, because I love progress, but I hate change. And that's how I think I'm looked upon by a lot of these people that see this insanity, this crazy monkey at one moment, and then this dedicated man, who doesn't care about the nay-sayers who are going to say he's this, he's that, he gets a piece of the action. You live with that crap.

KING: Why do you think the film critics have come around? Why are you looked at now as a genuine major comedic artist of film? I think that's safe to say that's now a true picture of you. Not just France.

LEWIS: Well, the film critics associations...

KING: You can leave that out of your ear now.

LEWIS: The film critics association, giving me a lifetime achievement award, is the best revenge I've ever had. I mean, isn't that marvelous?

KING: But have they changed?

LEWIS: No, I don't think they've changed. I still think that they think some of the things that I've done theatrically are inane. I'm sure they still believe that Chaplin was the comic artist, and Jerry is just a noisy, raucous, loud, abrasive kid. I think that they can't deal with this is real. We have kids and people in the world that think and do mischievous, silly and wonderfully innocent things, no matter what the age. And that's all I have ever written for Jerry. Innocence, mischief, silliness and just an abandon. A lot of people are put back by that.

And they're the people who sit in a theater like this, and they're watching a Jerry Lewis movie and they're watching and they're watching, and there's kids on the right and there's kids on the left and now, there's some laughter, and he goes -- God forbid somebody should see him laugh. He has a difficult time coming down to the level that they believe I'm at in what I do. That's the only explanation I have. The fact that I've taken them on over the years has got a lot to do with it as well. If I think a man is writing about my work, he has got the right to say anything he wants and you have to keep your mouth shut. But when they write about your work and sneak personal shots at you I call them on it.

KING: One would think that if something makes you laugh, what else matters?

LEWIS: Of course.

KING: I've never understood it.

LEWIS: Laughter is our safety valve that's going to keep us going. Laughter puts years on your life.

KING: It's an honor to call him a friend. He's Jerry Lewis. We'll be back. We'll take some calls for Jerry.

LEWIS: Yes! I can't wait. Hello, Dolly.

KING: Would you believe he gets Social Security? We'll be right back.


KING: We're back with Jerry Lewis, a great artist. Carmel, California. Hello.

CALLER: Dear Jerry, welcome back, love.

LEWIS: Thank you, darling.

CALLER: You look so fabulous.

LEWIS: I'm looking better, yes. Every day, I'm a little better.

CALLER: I have to say, I just bought "Dino, The Essential Dean Martin" CD. I love it. Can I ask you a question about this device? Does it help pain in different areas? Can it do muscle, nerve, or whatever?

LEWIS: If you're a candidate for this stimulator, it could be most any place. But you have to be a candidate. There were some people...

KING: Who do you check with?

LEWIS: You go to a pain management doctor and they test you. If you're a candidate, you have it put in permanently.

KING: Cannon, Connecticut, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you?

LEWIS: Hello.

CALLER: Mr. Lewis, I have to tell you I love you and share you with my 10 and 12-year-old children.

LEWIS: Thank you. There's a new collection out in DVD right now the kids would love.

KING: That's right. In fact, let me mention it.

LEWIS: Larry's going to mention it.

CALLER: OK. My question to you, sir...

KING: It's from Paramount. They've put out a Jerry Lewis DVD collection, "The Crown Jewel, A Special Edition of the Nutty Professor."

CALLER: Wonderful.

LEWIS: And nine other films along with that.

KING: What's your question, dear?

LEWIS: What's your question, honey?

CALLER: My question to you is, what is your advice to people who are dealing with this?

KING: With pain?

CALLER: The pain, everything. What is your advice to them in order to keep going, to fight this?

LEWIS: What is my fight?

KING: What's your advice to people who have pain?

LEWIS: Oh. My advice for people who have pain. See a pain specialist in your community. A doctor will write you a prescription for pain medication. That doesn't do any good. For that matter, it heightens the pain. You get the doctor to write you the address of a pain management specialist. He knows what to do for your pain no matter where the pain was.

KING: Have you ever got hung on a painkiller? LEWIS: I was addicted for 11 years. I was taking 13 (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a day. I was addicted good.

KING: Did it work?

LEWIS: Not after a while. Then you're taking them for social reasons. You take it to relieve the pain, it starts great, after you take two of them, three, then they don't mean anything after that.

KING: Tampa, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hey, Jerry and Larry. We love you.


CALLER: I just want to ask, I know that when I think I'm having a rough time, and I'm always humbled by people who have it much worse than me. I wanted to know, Jerry, when you were at your worst and contemplating suicide, how much did thinking about your telethons and those little kids that were going to die humbled you and brought you out of it?

LEWIS: My wife, Sam, and my daughter, Danielle (ph), that was what brought me out of it. The thought of not seeing them anymore straightened me up. In spite of the excruciating pain, I just had to take that moment to think about that and it straightened me out.

KING: How old are you, Jerry?

LEWIS: In a year and half, I'll be 80. Do you believe that number, 8-0.

KING: The last time you were on this show was my 70th.

LEWIS: I got socks older than you.

KING: Did you ever think you would be 80?

LEWIS: I'm not there yet, Larry. But I want to be 80, I want to be Burns. He went to 100. I want to go to 101. That's my plan. I want to see my daughter graduate from college, I'm going to walk her down the aisle, she's going to get married to a wonderful young man and then I'm going to see my grandchild from this precious life of mine. I'm going, man. And I have got all the energy and enthusiasm and optimism and spirit to get me there. I think that anyone can get five or ten years more on their lives if they try to do something for someone else. It's very uplifting to your inner spirit and your inner being. What I do appears to be very selfless. I told you once on the show that I am probably the most selfish man you will ever meet in your life. Nobody gets the pleasure that I do out of the work I do.

KING: Do you miss Martin and Lewis?

LEWIS: Oh, god, yes. I miss Dean every day that I breathe.

KING: Do you miss the two of you at the Copa? LEWIS: Oh, yes. Would I love to relive that? Would I love to relive that? But I relive it every day that I think of him. When you read the book which will be out in the fall...

KING: Is it finally?

LEWIS: You will like the title, too.

KING: What?

LEWIS: "Dean and Me, A Love Story."

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Jerry. Don't go away.

LEWIS: OK. I'll be here. Stay where you are.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get off the stage!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what I like better than that? Wrestling matches. I love wrestling matches. Don't you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, watch this. Did you take a bath this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why, is there one missing?




LEWIS: One guy says to the other -- one second, I've got to tell a joke. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I don't know.


KING: Did you get hurt doing physical comedy?

LEWIS: Of course. How do you think I got the pain?

KING: Mountain View, California. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi, Mr. Lewis.

LEWIS: Hi, ma'am.

CALLER: I want to tell you first of all, I met you when I was a little girl years ago, in your dressing room at the Sands Hotel.

LEWIS: You were in my dressing room at the Sands Hotel when you were a little girl?

CALLER: Yes, I was.

LEWIS: And you've never called?

CALLER: I've never called.

KING: What's your question, dear?

LEWIS: What's your question?

CALLER: My question is, I have the recording of "The Nagger," and I've used it time and again. And it isn't available on DVD or CD. Will you be doing a remake of it so that we can carry it on through the next generation?

LEWIS: I don't know that I'll redo it, but you can certainly check the Web. If you punch up, we probably have some of them in the museum.

KING: How many films did you do?

LEWIS: Sixty.

KING: Sixty?

LEWIS: 6-0. Yes.

KING: And some still not released, right? Weren't there a few, according to Bogdanovich, there's one or two we' still haven't seen.

LEWIS: One, we'll never see.

KING: Because you don't like it?

LEWIS: Because it didn't happen. It was just wrong. And I never talk -- I only talk about positive things.

KING: You're a pure delight.

LEWIS: Am I leaving you?

KING: Not yet, we have a special close here. I think you're going to dig this.

Before we go, the people have voted, and I want to thank each and every one of them. They have made Doris the Ugly Stepsister, my animated alter ego from the smash hit "Shrek 2," the winner of "The Far Far Away Idol" competition. It's in the new DVD. Here's a sample of the musical talent that took home the prize. Eat your heart out, Clay Aiken!


KING (singing): Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world. I want to be the one to walk in the sun...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, you go, girl.


SIMON COWELL: Yeah, go girl, and get an extreme makeover, and some singing lessons.


KING: What do you think, Jer?

LEWIS: That's funny.

KING: I made it.

LEWIS: That's funny.

KING: The big time. That won.

LEWIS: I never knew you couldn't sing.

KING: Eight hundred thousand people voted. The DVD went on sale Friday, closed last night, and Doris won.

LEWIS: You're kidding?

KING: I'm Doris, the Ugly Stepsister.

LEWIS: Oh, you are?

KING: Yeah.

LEWIS: What are you doing later?


KING: OK, one other thing.

LEWIS: Go ahead.

KING: You ever going to do another movie?

LEWIS: Of course. I have got three scripts right now. One that I'm really excited about, and two I'm not sure.

KING: The one you're excited about?

LEWIS: The one I'm excited about, which I really can't talk about, because it's just hush-hush, but it's going to be very exciting. I'll let you know about it before anybody else.

KING: With you in it?

LEWIS: I am going to direct it and perform in it.

KING: Anyone you like better than the other, directing or performing? Did you like them both equal? LEWIS: Oh, God, yes. Whichever I was doing at the time. Right now, I'm having the best time of my career sitting with Larry King on his program. I leave here, and I do some -- whatever I do next...

KING: Whatever you're doing...

LEWIS: Whatever I'm doing, I love the best.

KING: You are a delight, Jer.

LEWIS: Thank you.

KING: You are a national treasure.

LEWIS: And you're my dear old friend and I love you.

KING: The Kennedy Center should honor you. And I salute the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, giving Jerry Lewis its lifetime annual achievement award. The dinner is January 13th.

I'll be back to tell you about tomorrow night right after this.


KING: We now take a serious turn toward the serious.


KING: Dr. Phil will be with us tomorrow night. Plus, an update on the Peterson trial. But Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" is next. And I think...

LEWIS: Aaron Brown, from New York, the man that recorded for Poverty Records is going to be on next.

AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": Mr. Lewis, thank you very much.

LEWIS: You're welcome, Aaron.

KING: He deserves a proper introduction.

LEWIS: A proper introduction.

KING: Mr. Aaron Brown.

LEWIS: Here is the erudite Aaron Brown.

BROWN: Thank you, I'll take that. Thank you.

KING: Take it. Go ahead.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.