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Jerry Lewis as ‘Idol’ judge was an idea that went nowhere

Jerry Lewis receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nevada Broadcasters Association at Red Rock Resort on Aug. 20, 2011.
Photo: Scott Harrison/Retna/
Jerry Lewis, in portraiture, as shot by Denise Truscello in 2009.

Jerry Lewis, in portraiture, as shot by Denise Truscello in 2009.

There was a reason Jerry Lewis signing on to be a judge on “American Idol” was deemed a long shot: It was an extremely unlikely outcome, about as plausible as Lewis entering the competition himself.

Officially announced over the weekend were the new judges for the "American Idol's" 12th season: Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and holdover Randy Jackson.

Lewis was in the mix months ago, and only briefly. In July, producers had sent an overture to the entertainment legend, in the form of a package outlining the requirements of being a host on the show, at his office in Las Vegas. Lewis was in Nashville at the time, prepping for the stage premiere of “The Nutty Professor” musical, and it’s not known whether he even reviewed the material. “Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe said at the time that he was interested in bringing Lewis and Charlie Sheen to the panel for Season 12.

Lythgoe was one of the celebs who stepped in to co-host the 2011 MDA Labor Day fundraising telecast.

Lewis has been staying very quiet recently. Aside from addressing the audience at the premiere of “The Nutty Professor” on July 24 at James K. Polk Theater at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and a comment upon the death of Phyllis Diller this month, he’s been laying low.

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John Katsilometes is a columnist and magazine writer for the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly and editor-at-large for ...

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