The Jerk | Chicago Reader

The Jerk

Rated R 93 minutes 1979

Steve Martin's first feature (1979), fitfully directed by Carl Reiner, is a hit-or-miss affair about an ebullient airhead. Some of the physical comedy seems to rely on Jerry Lewis, and it's worth noting that when Lewis's Hardly Working was subsequently released, Lewis was pointedly billed as “the original jerk.” The verbal and conceptual gags, however, belong wholly to Martin's own brand of goofiness, and some of them are pretty funny. Costar Bernadette Peters functions as an effective foil for Martin, and Catlin Adams, Mabel King, Richard Ward, and Jackie Mason are also around.

Film Credits

Director: Carl Reiner

Producer: David V. Picker and William McEuen

Cast: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams, Mabel King, Richard Ward, Dick Anthony Williams, Carl Reiner, Bill Macy, M. Walsh, Dick O'Neill, Maurice Evans, Helena Carroll, Ren Wood, Pepe Serna, Jackie Mason and David Landsberg

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